Pope Francis has urged everyone to keep praying for peace in the Middle East, saying the search for peace is a long one that requires patience and perseverance. Speaking during his Angelus address, the Pope also condemned the proliferation of wars and conflicts and questioned whether they were wars about problems or commercial wars to sell arms on the black market. His remarks came just hours after thousands of people attended a prayer vigil in St. Peter’s Square on Saturday evening as part of the events for the special day of prayer and fasting for peace in Syria and the world that was called by the Pope and was marked by people across the globe in different ways.
Below is the English translation of Pope Francis’ post-Angelus appeal:
I would like to thank everyone who, in various ways, joined in the Vigil of Prayer and Fasting yesterday evening. I thank the many people who united the offering of their sufferings. I express my gratitude to the civil authorities, as well as to the members of other Christian communities and of other religions, and to men and women of good will who have undertaken, on this occasion, periods of prayer, fasting and reflection.
But the task remains: we move forward with prayer and works of peace. I invite you to continue to pray so that the violence and devastation in Syria may cease immediately and that a renewed effort be undertaken to achieve a just solution to this fratricidal conflict. Let us pray also for other countries in the Middle East, in particular for Lebanon, that it may find its hoped-for stability and continue to be a model of peaceful co-existence; for Iraq, that sectarian violence may give way to reconciliation; and that the peace process between the Israelis and Palestinians may proceed with determination and courage. Finally, let us pray for Egypt, that all Egyptians, Muslims and Christians, may commit themselves to build up together a society dedicated to the good of the whole population. The search for peace is long and demands patience and perseverance! Let us keep praying for this!
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