Pope Francis marks the anniversary of World War I

Pope Francis kisses a baby as he greets the crowd in Isernia, southern Italy, on July 5, 2014, during a one day visit in the Molise region. ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis is marking the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I with an impassioned plea for people to "not repeat the mistakes of the past," urging them to embrace dialogue to overcome conflicts.

Francis cited current warfare between Israelis and Palestinians, as well as in Iraq and in Ukraine. He told pilgrims and tourists in St. Peter's Square Sunday that he was thinking of children - killed, maimed or orphaned by war - who "for toys, have the debris of war."

"I beg you, stop. I ask you with all my heart," Francis said.

He cited World War I-era Pope Benedict XV's denunciation of the Great War as a "useless massacre."

Francis said: "Everything is lost with war, nothing is lost with peace. Never more war."

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