Pope Francis led an hour and a half of prayer for peace, denouncing the “folly of war, which sows death and eliminates the future.”
The Pope entrusted “countries and regions at war” to the Virgin Mary during a prayer for peace in Rome’s St. Peter’s Basilica on October 27, 2023. Without naming the conflict in Israel and Palestine, the Pope prayed for the conversion of men “seduced by evil, blinded by power and hate.”
Day of prayer and fasting
Pope Francis had decreed a day of prayer and fasting at the general audience on October 18, calling on all Christians as well as believers of other religions and all those who serve the cause of peace to join in this initiative, held October 27. During the audience, he also called for “everything possible” to be done to avoid “a humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza.
Gathered around the Pope in St. Peter’s Basilica, the members of the Synod “appealed for peace” and prayed the Rosary before a period of Eucharistic adoration.
Speaking during the hour and a half of prayer, the Pope seemed particularly moved by “the folly of war, which sows death and eliminates the future.”
“Touch the hearts of those imprisoned by hatred; convert those who fuel and foment conflict,” he implored in his prayer to the Queen of Peace.
“Dry the tears of children — at this hour, so many are weeping!” the Pontiff improvised. “Be present to those who are elderly and alone; strengthen the wounded and the sick; protect those forced to leave their lands and their loved ones; console the crestfallen; awaken new hope.”
Pope Francis’ diplomacy
The Pope did not specifically mention the war taking place in Israel and Palestine, a conflict he is following very closely. Yesterday, the Pope spoke by telephone with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
On several occasions, he has contacted members of the small Catholic community in the Gaza Strip. The parish priest of the area assured us that the Pope called him every day.
At Wednesday’s general audience in St. Peter’s Square, the soon-to-be 87-year-old pope called for both “the release of the hostages and the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza.”
“Brothers, stop! Stop!” he urged in his public appeal at the Sunday Angelus on October 22.