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Pope Francis: message for 75th anniversary of D-Day, “promoting real universal fraternity” based on culture, acceptance and dialogue

May the Commemoration of the D-Day be a call to Europe, today, to “the Christians of all confessions, believers of other religions and men of good will, to promote a real universal fraternity, by spreading a culture of acceptance and dialogue, mindful of the little and poor ones”. This is the wish made by Pope Francis in a message to Jean-Claude Boulanger, bishop of Bayeux-Lisieux, on the occasion of the celebrations held over these days for the 75th anniversary of the so-called D-Day, the landing of the Allies in Normandy on 6th June 1944, which sparked off the liberation from Nazi occupation, first in France, then in the rest of the Western Europe. “I hope – the Pope writes – that this commemoration may enable all generations, in Europe and across the world, to firmly claim again that “peace is based on the respect of every one, regardless of their background, on the respect of everyone’s rights and the common good, of the Creation that has been entrusted to us, and the moral wealth inherited from the older generations”. In his message, Francis pays tribute to the soldiers who fought there: “We know that the landing of 6th June 1944, just here, in Normandy, was decisive for the fight against Nazi barbarism and paved the way to the end of this war that deeply hurt Europe and the world. That’s why I am grateful to all the soldiers who, coming from many different countries, including France, had the courage to commit themselves and give their lives for freedom and peace. I entrust them to the infinitely merciful love of the Lord, as I do for the millions of victims of this war, and I will not forget those who, on the German side, fought in obedience to a regime fuelled by an murderous ideology”.

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