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April 8, 2024

Pope Francis meets with relatives of hostages

Pope Francis meets with relatives of hostages in Gaza, April 8
Francis has repeatedly called for the release of all hostages held in GazaImage: Vatican Media/REUTERS

Pope Francis met with relatives of hostages taken by Hamas militants on October 7.

The Vatican released photos of the encounter, showing the relatives of several of hostages sitting in a semicircle in front of Francis in his private library in the Apostolic Palace. Each person held a poster with a photo and the name of their loved one.

It was the second time Francis has met with relatives of hostages. In November, he met separately with relatives of Israeli hostages in Gaza and Palestinians living through the war in Gaza.

Francis spoke about the suffering of both Israelis and Palestinians after his meetings, which were arranged before the Israeli-Hamas hostage deal and a temporary halt in fighting was announced.

In his Easter Sunday address, Francis called for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza and the release of all Israeli hostages.

Pope Francis urges peace in Easter message