Pope Francis prays in St. Peter’s Square on March 8, 2023. / Vatican Media

Rome Newsroom, Mar 30, 2023 / 10:00 am (CNA).

In the month of April, Pope Francis has asked the world to pray in a special way for a culture of nonviolence and peace.

“Living, speaking, and acting without violence is not surrendering, losing, or giving up anything but aspiring to everything,” the pope said in a video message released March 30.

He urged both countries and citizens to “resort less and less to the use of arms.”

In the video, images of Pope Francis delivering his message are interspersed with scenes of war zones, bombed-out cities, people fleeing war, police at crime scenes, and peace protesters.

In some of the video clips, the faces of iconic people associated with peace — Pope John XXIII, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr., and Mahatma Gandhi — are superimposed on the scenes.

“As St. John XXIII said 60 years ago in his encyclical Pacem in Terris, war is madness,” the pope said. “It’s beyond reason.”

“Any war, any armed confrontation, always ends in defeat for all,” he said.

Pacem in Terris, subtitled “On establishing universal peace in truth, justice, charity, and liberty,” was published 60 years ago on April 11.

Pope Francis urged the world to “develop a culture of peace” and to “remember that, even in cases of self-defense, peace is the ultimate goal, and that a lasting peace can exist only without weapons.”

The pope’s monthly prayer intention is promoted and published by The Pope Video initiative, run by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network.

“Let us make nonviolence a guide for our actions, both in daily life and in international relations,” Pope Francis said.

More information about the pope’s prayer intention for April can be found here.