The Pope is calling people to mark Ash Wednesday with prayers for the war in Ukraine.

The Pope's Twitter account has sent out a steady stream of prayers for the situation in Ukraine since the conflict began. "Every war leaves our world worse than it was before," he says in a tweet last week. "War is a failure of politics and humanity, a shameful capitulation, a stinging defeat before the forces of evil."

On Feb. 23 the Pope made his first invitation. "I invite everyone to make this coming 2nd March, Ash Wednesday, a Day of Fasting for Peace: let believers dedicate themselves intensively to prayer and fasting. May the Queen of Peace preserve the world from the madness of war," he says.

As Ash Wednesday began in Rome he included a prayer in his profile:

Lord God of peace, hear our prayer! Open our eyes and our hearts, and give us the courage to say: "Never again war!"; "With war everything is lost". Instill in our hearts the courage to take concrete steps to achieve peace. Keep alive within us the flame of hope, so that with patience and perseverance we may opt for dialogue and reconciliation. In this way may peace triumph at last. Amen.

The Pople has also called on world leaders to seek God. "I would like to appeal to those with political responsibilities to make a serious examination of conscience before God, who is the God of peace and not of war, the Father of all, not just of some, who wants us to be brothers and not enemies"