With his voice appearing to crack with emotion, the pope broke off from his scripted remarks to make a direct appeal for fighting to end.
"Please stop! I ask you with all my heart, it's time to stop. Stop, please!"
While he made no direct reference to the situation in the Gaza Strip, the comments came after a humanitarian truce broke down Sunday with the resumption of fighting in which more than 1,000 people, mostly civilians including dozens of children, have been killed.
"Brothers and sisters, never war, never war! I am thinking above all of children, who are deprived of the hope of a worthwhile life, of a future," he said.
"Dead children, injured children, mutilated children, orphaned children, children whose toys are things left over from war, children who can't smile any more," he said.