Pope Francis remembered the official end of the Second World War on Wednesday with the plea: “never again,” and he decried similar horrors from today’s bloody conflicts, denouncing weapons trafficking. The Pope recounted Sept. 2 today’s victims of war: “The persecuted minorities, the persecuted Christians, the insanity of destruction and the manufacturing and trafficking of weapons, bloodstained weapons, weapons soaked in the blood of many innocent (people).” He cited the words of his predecessor, Blessed Paul VI: “War never again!” These words, he said, are “the anguished cry which, from our hearts and from the hearts of men and women of good will, rise up to the Prince of Peace.” The Pope's remarks addressed pilgrims in St. Peter's Square at the conclusion of his weekly General Audience. “I renew my fervent prayer to the Lord of All that, through the Virgin Mary’s intercession, today’s world may not experience the horrors and the appalling suffering from similar tragedies,” he continued. “This is also the permanent longing of peoples, especially those who are victims of several current bloody conflicts.” The Second World War formally ended Sept. 2, 1945 on the U.S.S. Missouri, when Japan signed the documents of its surrender. Millions of soldiers and civilians were killed over the six year conflict that engulfed large parts of Europe, Asia, and the Pacific. Pope Francis has spoken on several occasions about World War II over the course of his pontificate. He sent a message to the French bishops paying homage to those who fought in the D-Day invasion of Normandy, a he has also commemorated the 1943 bombing of Rome’s St. Lawrence Basilica.
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