Pope Francis today called for peace in the Middle East and for those “blinded by power and hatred” to reconcile, as he led a prayer in St. Peter’s Basilica for the end of world conflicts.
Joined by cardinals, bishops, and representatives of other faiths, the pope framed his prayer “in these times plagued by conflict and destroyed by weapons,” at a time when “the human family is lost on the path of peace.”
“Pray for our world of danger and confusion. Teach us to welcome and care for life, all human life, and to reject the madness of war, which sows death and destroys the future,” the Pope asked the Virgin during the ceremony. after the start of a new spiral of violence between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas after the October 7 attack.
“Move the hearts of those who are trapped by hatred; convert those who feed and foment conflicts,” Francis added later, amid persistent demands from the Holy See for the release of hostages kidnapped by Hamas and for Israel to stop the attacks on civilians in Gaza.
“Wipe the tears of children, help the lonely and old, support the wounded and sick, protect those who have to leave their land and their loved ones, comfort the discouraged, and restore hope,” asked the Holy Pope when speaking during the day of “prayer and fasting.”
In his intervention, Francis asked the Virgin for the reconciliation of his “children, seduced by evil, blinded by power and hatred.”
“You, who are close to each other, shorten our gaps of separation. You, who have compassion for all, teach us to care for others. You, who reveal the tenderness of the Lord, make us witnesses to her joy. “The queen of peace pours the harmony of God into hearts,” he concluded.
This Friday’s prayer recalls the day of prayer that Francis led on September 7, 2013 for peace “in the beloved country of Syria, in the Middle East, and in the whole world!”, as he said before.