Today, Pray for Peace in the Holy Land

Today, 17 October, marks a day of prayer and fasting for peace in the Holy Land, after the brutal Israel-Hamas war erupted one week ago.

“Prayer is the meek and holy force to oppose the diabolical force of hatred, terrorism and war,” said Pope Francis after the Sunday Angelus, 15 October, sharing the invitation to prayer and fasting issued days earlier by Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem.

This morning, Pope Francis again asked all believers to unite in “dedicating themselves today to prayer and fasting for peace, so that the hostages be freed, civilians not be made victims of the conflict, humanitarian law be respected, and innocent blood not be shed.”

The CNEWA family has joined in this day of prayer and fasting and invites all our donors, friends and people of good will to do the same.

In a message issued this week, Msgr. Peter I. Vaccari, CNEWA president, also urged people to pray, to learn about the conflict from trustworthy sources and to support the work of the church among those most in need in this crisis.

“CNEWA laments the loss of all innocent life, the displacement of all innocent peoples, Israelis and Palestinians,” he wrote. “We invoke the powerful intercession and protection of Our Lady, mother of us all. May all faiths find a home in Jerusalem.”

In the busyness of the day, stop for just a moment and offer this prayer for peace in the Holy Land, which Pope Francis offered nearly 10 years ago at a meeting with the leaders of Israel and Palestine in the Vatican.

A Prayer for Peace in the Holy Land

Lord God of peace, hear our prayer!

We have tried so many times and over so many years to resolve our conflicts by our own powers and by the force of our arms. How many moments of hostility and darkness have we experienced; how much blood has been shed; how many lives have been shattered; how many hopes have been buried… But our efforts have been in vain.

Now, Lord, come to our aid! Grant us peace, teach us peace; guide our steps in the way of peace. 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.

Lord, God of Abraham, God of the Prophets, God of Love, you created us and you call us to live as brothers and sisters. Give us the strength daily to be instruments of peace; enable us to see everyone who crosses our path as our brother or sister. Make us sensitive to the plea of our citizens who entreat us to turn our weapons of war into implements of peace, our trepidation into confident trust, and our quarreling into forgiveness.

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, and may the words “division”, “hatred” and “war” be banished from the heart of every man and woman. Lord, defuse the violence of our tongues and our hands. Renew our hearts and minds, so that the word which always brings us together will be “brother”, and our way of life will always be that of:

Shalom, Peace, Salaam!


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