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Rome Reports

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Pope asks for minute of prayer this Saturday for Peace in the Holy Land

The pope's arrival in St. Peters's Square for his weekly General Audience was accompanied by tropical music from a nearby band. They continued to play as he toured all of the square in the popemobile.

Along the central aisle, he was able to greet many people up close. For example, this baby with a passion for soccer. 

 Then, in his weekly catechesis, he launched a worldwide appeal to pray for peace in the Holy Land. 

“Next Saturday, June 8, will mark the fifth anniversary of the meeting, here at the Vatican, of the presidents of Israel and Palestine with me and Patriarch Bartholomew. At 1:00 p.m. we are all invited to dedicate 'one minute for peace.' Prayer for believers and reflection for non-believers. Everyone together for a more fraternal world.”

In his catechesis, the pope recalled his trip to Romania. He was especially moved by the beatification of seven bishops who, a few decades ago, were tortured and murdered by the communist regime there. 

“One of these newly beatified martyrs, Msgr. Iuliu Hossu, wrote during his imprisonment, 'God has sent us into this darkness of suffering to give forgiveness and pray for the conversion of all.' Thinking of the terrible tortures they were subjected to, these words are a testimony of mercy.”

Pope Francis was very satisfied with the trip and his cordial meeting with Patriarch Daniel, leader of the Orthodox Church in Romania. 

Before saying farewell, he recalled that Sunday is the feast of Pentecost. He prayed that this celebration will give hope to Catholics and result in many concrete acts of charity.