Only God can bring peace to Holy Land, Pope Francis declares
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/9/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Following his trip to the Holy Land, Pope Francis called upon God to act where human efforts have failed. The pontiff described the ongoing violence as being inspired by the Devil.
Pope Francis looks on as Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas embrace
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Speaking at a ceremony attended by the presidents of Israel and the Palestinian territories, the Pope spoke of the necessity of Divine Intervention.
"More than once we have been on the verge of peace, but the Evil One, employing a variety of means, has succeeded in blocking it," the Pope said at an evening ceremony in the Vatican Gardens. "That is why we are here, because we know and we believe that we need the help of God."
His remarks were addressed to both Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during an "invocation for peace" in the Holy Land.
"I was young, now I am old. I experienced war, I tasted peace," Peres said in an English portion of his statement. "Never will I forget the bereaved families, parents and children, who paid the cost of war. And all my life I shall never stop to act for peace for the generations to come. Let's all of us join hands and make it happen."
"We want peace for us and for our neighbors. We seek prosperity and peace of mind for ourselves and for others alike," a translation of Abbas' prepared Arabic text read.
Christians, Muslims and Jews prayed in each other's presence at the event. It was the first of its kind at the Vatican, according to Jesuit Fr Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office.
Peres arrived by car at the Vatican guesthouse, where the Pope lives. Abbas arrived at 6:30 p.m., and 15 minutes later the two presidents embraced in the presence of the Pope.
"Nice to see you," Peres and Abbas told each other in English.
Riding together in a white minivan to the site of the ceremony, a triangular area of lawn walled off by tall hedges along two sides, the setting had been chosen because of its "neutral" appearance, lacking in religious imagery.
Among those present were various Muslim, Jewish and Druze religious figures, including Rabbi Abraham Skorka and Omar Abboud, long-standing friends of the Pope from Buenos Aires.
Lasting less than two hours, the ceremony concluded when the Pope, Patriarch and the two presidents kissed each other on both cheeks, then took up shovels and added dirt to the base of a newly planted olive tree. They then spent about 15 minutes speaking privately inside the nearby Casina Pio IV, a 16th-century villa which now houses several pontifical academies.
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Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for APRIL 2017
Young People. That young people may respond generously to their vocations and seriously consider offering themselves to God in the priesthood or consecrated life.
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