The Pope struggled to speak on Thursday as he was overcome with emotion while praying for peace in Ukraine
Appearing near the centre of Rome during an annual visit, Pope Francis began to tremble as he mentioned Ukraine and had to pause to compose himself.
The Daily Mail reports: He began to tremble as he mentioned the Ukrainians and he had to stop speaking. As the crowd of thousands of dignitaries, clergy and ordinary Romans realized the pope was overcome with emotion, they broke into applause and urged him on.
After a long pause of 30 seconds, Francis continued the prayer, picking up from where he left off: ‘- the Ukrainian people for the peace we have so long asked the Lord.’ When he resumed the prayer, his voice was cracking.
‘Instead, I must present you with the pleas of children, elderly, mothers and fathers and the young people of that martyred land, that is suffering so much,’ he added.
The moment came during the pope’s annual visit to the Spanish Steps, which falls on the December 8 feast day dedicated to Mary, the mother of Jesus. The day is a national holiday in Italy, and the pope was joined by Rome Mayor Roberto Gualtieri.
The event marks the unofficial start of the Christmas season in Italy.
After reading the prayer on Thursday at the statue near the Spanish Steps, the pope greeted people in the crowd, including journalists.
When one of the journalists mentioned to Francis that she had seen him overcome with emotion, he responded: ‘Yes. It (the war in Ukraine) is an enormous suffering, enormous. A defeat for humanity.’