Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) – After praying the Angelus together with the pilgrims gathered yesterday in St Peter's Square, the Holy Father launched the following appeal for the Holy Land: "I extend to you all a heartfelt appeal to continue to pray for peace in the Holy Land, in the light of the tragic events of recent days. I still live in the memory of the meeting held on 8 June with Patriarch Bartholomew, President Peres and President Abbas, with whom we invoked the gift of peace and heard the call to break the cycle of hatred and violence.
Some people might think that such a meeting took place in vain. I disagree because prayer helps us not to allow ourselves to be overcome by evil, nor accept that violence and hatred take over from dialogue and reconciliation. I urge the interested parties and all those who have political responsibilities at local and international levels to spare no prayer or effort to put an end to all hostilities and achieve the desired peace for the good of everyone. I invite everyone to join in prayer. (Silent prayer) Now, Lord, help us! Grant us peace, teach us peace, lead us toward peace. Open our eyes and our hearts and give us the courage to say, 'Never again war!' [. . .] With war, everything is destroyed. Instill in us the courage to take concrete actions to build peace. [. . .] Make us willing to listen to the cry of our citizens who ask us to turn our weapons into tools of peace, our fears into trust and our in tensions into forgiveness. Amen". (SL) (Agenzia Fides 14/07/2014)