VATICAN (QHA) -

Pope Francis in his "To the City and to the World", traditional Christmas message prayed for peace in Ukraine.

Pontiff named Ukrainians as children of Jesus who suffer from violence.

“We see Jesus in children who, together with their families, suffer from the violence caused by the conflict in Ukraine, and from its serious humanitarian consequences, and pray that the Lord will soon grant peace to this dear country," Pope Francis said, speaking at noon on December 25 from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican.

In his message, the Head of the Catholic Church called for praying for peace and making efforts to establish it.

"Today, when the winds of war are blowing over the world, and the existing irrelevant development model further generates universal, social and ecological degradation, Christmas again takes us back to the sign of the Child, invites him to recognize Him in the faces of children," Pope Francis stated, speaking of the inhabitants of countries, where conflicts did not stop, the Holy Land, the Middle East, a number of African countries, Venezuela and Ukraine in particular.

Earlier, QHA reported that, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko congratulated Ukrainian people on Catholic Christmas.

The Head of State wished Ukrainians good health, peace and prosperity.

Refat Chubarov, the Head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, a member of Ukrainian Parliament congratulated the citizens of Ukraine, as well as foreign friends of Ukraine, celebrating Christmas on the night of December 24 to 25.

Reference: Ukraine celebrates the Catholic Christmas at the state level for the first time this year.

Earlier, QHA reported that, November 29, President Petro Poroshenko signed the law on the introduction of a day off on December 25 for a Catholic Christmas.

Earlier, the Verkhovna Rada supported the bill on the introduction of a day off on December 25. The bill was introduced by Mykola Knyazhytskyi the Head of the Committee on Culture and Spirituality.

QHA