Vatican City, 13 July 2014 (VIS) – After praying the Angelus, the Pope launched a fresh appeal for fervent prayer for peace in the Holy Land in the light of the tragic events of recent days.
“I still recall the meeting of 8 June with Patriarch Bartholomaios, 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 might think that such a meeting took place in vain. But no, because prayer helps us not to allow ourselves to be overcome by evil, nor resign ourselves to violence and hatred taking over dialogue and reconciliation. I urge the parties concerned and all those who have political responsibility at local and international levels to offer a prayer and make some effort to bring an end to all hostilities and to achieve the desired peace for the good of all. And I invite everyone to unite in prayer. In silence everyone, let us pray. Now, Lord, help us! Grant us peace, teach us peace, guide us toward peace. Open our eyes and our hearts and give us the courage to say: “No more war!” “War destroys everything”. Give 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 transform our weapons into instruments of peace, our fears into trust, and our tensions into forgiveness”.
The Holy Father then went on to comment that today is “Sea Sunday”, and greeted all seafarers, fishermen and their families, urging Christian communities, particularly those living in coastal areas, to be attentive to them. “I also invite the chaplains and volunteers of the Apostleship of the Sea to continue their commitment to the pastoral care of these brothers and sisters”, he added, entrusting all, “especially those who are in difficulty and away from home, to the maternal protection of Mary, Star of the Sea”.
Finally, he blessed all the spiritual sons and daughters of St. Camillus de Lellis, as tomorrow marks the 400th anniversary of his death, and invited the Camillan family, in this jubilee year, “to be a sign of the Lord Jesus who, as the Good Samaritan, tends to the wounds of the body and the spirit of suffering humanity, pouring the oil of consolation and the wine of hope. To those of you gathered here in St Peter's Square, as well as to health professionals serving in hospitals and nursing homes, it is my hope that you may continue grow in the charism of charity, fuelled by daily contact with the sick”.