Pope Francis painted a grim picture of the future during Mass at the Vatican on Sunday, warning he sees “greater omens of greater destruction and desolation” in the world.
The 85-year-old pontiff shared his dark vision for humanity during a Mass ahead of Monday’s holiday celebrating the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patron of Mexico.
Francis said the holiday, which commemorates the appearance of the Virgin Mary to a young man in 1531 in Mexico City, came at a “complicated and difficult time for the inhabitants of the New World.”
He related it to present day, noting we are also living through “a difficult time for humanity … a bitter period, full of the roar of war, of growing injustices, famines, poverty, suffering.”
Despite how seemingly bad things are, the pope said his vision for the future appears with “greater omens of greater destruction and desolation.”
“And although this horizon seems bleak and disconcerting, with omens of even greater destruction and desolation, his divine love and his coming down to us tell us that this too is a propitious time of salvation,” the pope added.
Ahead of the holiday, Francis said the Virgin Mary welcomes people to put aside their “prejudices and fears” and put their trust in the Lord.
In recent months, Francis has grown increasingly vocal in his criticisms of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, now entering its 10th month. Over the summer, he denounced the “ferocity and cruelty” of Russian forces.
“We do not see the whole drama unfolding behind this war, which was perhaps somehow either provoked or not prevented,” the pontiff said during a conversation with editors of Jesuit media. “And I register an interest in testing and selling weapons. It is very sad, but basically this is what is at stake.”
“How the war is going in Ukraine has become so grave, devastating and threatening that it sparks great worry,” Francis said at the time. “In fact, this terrible, inconceivable wound of humanity, instead of shrinking, continues to bleed even more, threatening to spread.”