Pope offers wish of peace for Ramadan

Taiwanese bishops with Pope Francis at the Vatican on May 15

Taiwanese bishops with Pope Francis at the Vatican on May 15

"I Express my great sorrow at the deaths and injuries of people, I bow in prayer and compassion for all the victims", said the Pontiff.

Pope Francis said Wednesday he was "very worried" by escalating violence in the Middle East after deadly clashes on the Gaza border were said to have left 60 Palestinians dead. "May God have mercy on us", he said.

Eight children under the age of 16, including an eight-month-old baby, were among Monday's dead.

"I repeat that the use of violence can never lead to peace", he said, stressing that "war begets war, violence begets violence".

The conflict coincided with the United States' inauguration of its first embassy in Jerusalem, a controversial move, which Palestinians have taken as US-backing of Israeli control of the city.

ReutersPope Francis made the comments at his regular Wednesday address at St Peter's Square, in the Vatican.

During the cathechesis, the pope explained the significance of the white garment worn when receiving the sacrament.

"I am very concerned about the escalation of tensions in the Holy Land and in the Middle East, and for the spiral of violence that increasingly moves away from the path of peace, dialogue and negotiations", Francis said at the end of his weekly audience. "But above all these things, clothe yourselves with charity, which unites them in a ideal way".

Pope Francis finished his catechesis on baptism with an especially energetic audience. He also explained the meaning of the baptismal candle, lit from the Paschal candle. The Anglican Church is committed to serve the people of Gaza through the extraordinary work of the hospitals I was able to visit there a year ago'.

"To always walk as children of light, persevering in faith", as it says in the Rite of Christian initiation of adults, is the Christian vocation, the pope said. He explained that is symbolized the fire of faith passing from the godparents and parents to the child.

Greeting them, Francis went visibly off the cuff, saying that remembering wars "causes sadness".

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