All the candidates died after the Russian Revolution and the Bolshevik establishment of the Soviet Union.
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Leading Catholics in praying a “Hail Mary” for the country and its people, Pope Francis appealed for a decrease in tensions, and for an increase in mutual trust, reconciliation, and peace.
“The Lord found that it was time for us to carry his cross. Let us strive to be worthy of that joy.”
Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin met Aug. 23 with President Putin and Aug. 22 with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill.
Holy Father also reminded the faithful that our hope is in Christ at April 5 audience.
Francis offers prayers and condolences in wake of Berlin Christmas market attack and murder of Russian ambassador.
NEWS ANALYSIS: With this week’s trip and a second one to neighboring Azerbaijan and Georgia in September, the Pope will visit a Caucasus region that’s considered a dangerous regional flashpoint.
The Holy Father has asked the faithful to make a “generous contribution” to relieve the suffering of nearly a million Ukrainians affected by ongoing violence between government forces and Russian-backed rebels.