Pope Francis calls for end to conflict in traditional Easter Urbi et Orbi message from the Vatican

Pope Francis calls for end to conflict in traditional Easter Urbi et Orbi message from the Vatican

POPE FRANCIS has used his Easter message to call for greater trust and an end to conflict and division around the world.

In his Easter Urbi et Orbi from the central loggia of St Peter's Basilica, the Pope told 100,000 gathered faithful that the support given to those fleeing war and poverty filled him with hope.

However, he warned of the difficulties and challenges that must be overcome on 'the paths of peace and fraternity'.

Pope Francis on the balcony of St Peter's Basilica on Easter Sunday (Image: Antonio Masiello/Getty Images)

"Let us rejoice at the concrete signs of hope that reach us from so many countries, beginning with those that offer assistance and welcome to all fleeing from war and poverty," said the Pontiff.

"At the same time, along this journey we also encounter many stumbling stones, which make it more difficult and demanding to hasten towards the Risen Lord."

'Journey towards peace'

While praying for an end to all conflict around the globe, the Pontiff focused on the continuing war in Ukraine as well as the conflict in the Middle East, which has intensified this week.

"Help the beloved Ukrainian people on their journey towards peace, and shed the light of Easter upon the people of Russia," said Pope Francis.

"Comfort the wounded and all those who have lost loved ones because of the war, and grant that prisoners may return safe and sound to their families.

Pope Francis waves from the popemobile to the faithful gathered in St Peter's Square at the end of Easter Mass (Image: Antonio Masiello/Getty Images)

"Open the hearts of the entire international community to strive to end this war and all conflict and bloodshed in our world, beginning with Syria, which still awaits peace."

He added: "On this day, Lord, we entrust to you the city of Jerusalem, the first witness of your resurrection.

"May there be a resumption of dialogue, in a climate of trust and reciprocal respect, between Israelis and Palestinians, so that peace may reign in the Holy City and in the entire region."

'Inspire the leaders'

As well as those affected by conflict, the Pope also prayed for the victims of natural disasters, citing February's 'violent earthquake' in Turkey and Syria.

Similarly, he offered his support to those suffering from social and economic hardship and the victims of crime and exploitation.

"Comfort refugees, deportees, political prisoners and migrants, especially those who are most vulnerable, as well as the victims of hunger, poverty and the dire effects of the drug trade, human trafficking and all other forms of slavery," said the Pontiff.

Crowds gather in Peter's Square on Easter Sunday (Image: Antonio Masiello/Getty Images)

"Lord, inspire the leaders of nations to ensure that no man or woman may encounter discrimination and be violated in his or her dignity; that in full respect for human rights and democracy these social wounds may be healed; that the common good of the citizenry may be pursued always and solely; and that security and the conditions needed for dialogue and peaceful coexistence may be guaranteed."

The Pope delivered his Easter Urbi ei Orbi following Easter Sunday Mass, having missed Friday evening's Way of the Cross celebration in Rome due to cold weather.

The 86-year-old Pontiff instead followed the traditional Good Friday procession at the Colosseum from his Vatican City residence at St Martha's House.

The Pope was released from Rome's Gemelli Hospital on Saturday, April 1, where he spent three days being treated for bronchitis.