Pope Francis conducts Angelus on the first Sunday of the Advent, urging people to "bet on the hope for peace" and expressing his closeness to those affected by HIV/AIDS.
VATICAN (DECEMBER 1, 2013) (CTV) - Pope Francis appealed for world peace and expressed his closeness to those suffering from HIV/AIDS in an address to a large crowd in St. Peter's Square in the Vatican on Sunday (December 1).
In his remarks ahead of his weekly Angelus prayer, Francis cited Prophet Isaiah's words "and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword, against nation, neither shall they learn war any more ".
He then went off script as he mused over the possibility of peace in the world.
"When will this happen? What a beautiful day it will be when weapons will be dismantled and transformed into instruments for work," he said.
"What a beautiful day that will be and it is possible. Let's bet on hope, the hope for peace and it will be possible."
The pope also marked World Aids Day, calling for an access to cure and medication for everyone.
"Today marks the World Day for the fight against HIV / AIDS. Let us express our closeness to the people who are affected, especially children, a closeness that is very real in the silent commitment of many missionaries and workers. Let us pray for everyone, including the doctors and the researchers. May every sick person, without exceptions, have access to the care they need."
Francis, gearing up for his first Christmas as pope, is due to visit the Roman parish of San Cirillo Alessandrino on Sunday evening where he will conduct mass.