Praying for peace in a troubled world

With the outbreak of fighting in Gaza, Pope Francis has called for a day of fasting, penance and prayer for peace in the world this Friday.


The pope says the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine should be in our prayers. “Let us continue to pray for peace in the world, especially in tormented Ukraine, a tragedy that is no longer talked about but continues,” Pope Francis said.


“War does not solve any problems, it only sows death and destruction. It increases hatred, multiplies revenge. War erases the future.


“Our thoughts go to Palestine and Israel. Casualties are rising and the situation in Gaza is desperate. Please, may everything possible be done to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe.


“Also disturbing is the possibility the conflict will spread just as so many other battles of war are being waged in the world. Silence the weapons. Listen to the cry of the poor, the people, the children, for peace,” the pope said, at the end of his general audience in St Peter’s Square last week.


He urged all people of faith to take “just one side in this conflict: that of peace. But not with words, with prayer, with total dedication.”


The pope invited people of every Christian denomination and other religions and those committed to the cause of peace to participate in any way they feel is appropriate. There will be an hour of prayer starting at 6 pm in Rome (3am Saturday Australia time) in St Peter’s Square “imploring for peace in the world,” he said.


The pope said local churches could organise similar initiatives.


A Prayer for Peace

God of mercy and compassion,
of grace and reconciliation,
pour your power upon all your children in the Middle East:
Jews, Muslims and Christians,
Palestinians and Israelis.
Let hatred be turned into love, fear to trust, despair to hope,
oppression to freedom, occupation to liberation,
that violent encounters may be replaced by loving embraces,
and peace and justice could be experienced by all.

Reverend Said Ailabouni


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