“It is sad, but one month after the outbreak of violence in Sudan, the situation continues to be grave,” he said.
The pope welcomed the “partial agreements” that have been made between the country’s warring parties one day after they signed a seven-day cease-fire.
“I renew a heartfelt call for the laying down of arms and call on the international community to spare no effort to make dialogue prevail and alleviate the suffering of the people,” Pope Francis said.
“Please, let us not get used to conflict and violence. We must not get used to war!”
In his brief spiritual meditation, Pope Francis spoke about the power of intercessory prayer with a reminder that Jesus himself is in heaven interceding on our behalf before the Father.
The pope noted that many countries, including Italy and some dioceses in the United States, celebrate the solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord on Sunday.
“Why are we celebrating? Because with the Ascension, something new and beautiful happened: Jesus brought our humanity into heaven … that is, in God,” he said.
A marching band from Puerto Rico played music in St. Peter’s Square after Pope Francis' speech. Vatican Media
Quoting the fourth-century bishop St. Gregory of Nyssa, he said: “‘What splendid news! He who became man for us … to make us his brothers, presents himself as man before the Father to bear with himself all those who are joined with him.’”
Pope Francis added: “What does Jesus do in heaven? He is there for us before the Father, continually showing our humanity to him, showing his wounds. I like to think that Jesus, before the Father, prays like this, showing him his wounds. … He shows him the price of redemption and the Father is moved. This is something I like to think about.”