Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Elise Harris

7/13/2014 (2 years ago)

Catholic News Agency (

'I pray earnestly for peace in the Holy Land', Pope Franics

Pope Francis asks us to pray for peace.

Pope Francis waving during the Angelus address.

Pope Francis waving during the Angelus address.


By Elise Harris

Catholic News Agency (

7/13/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Holy Land, Prayer, Peace, Pope Francis, PAUSEforPeace

- Following his reflections on the Sunday's Gospel parable of the sower and the seed, Pope Francis called for peace in the Holy Land, asking participants to join him in a moment of silent prayer.

"I extend a heartfelt appeal to all of you to continue to pray earnestly for peace in the Holy Land, in light of the tragic events of recent days," the Roman Pontiff stated after his July 13 weekly Angelus address.

Pope Francis tells us: 'Always Carry a Bible with you'

Recalling the June 8 invocation for peace held at the Vatican with the Israeli and Palestinian presidents, the pontiff recounted how they "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," he observed, "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 spare a prayer and make some effort to put an end to all hostilities and to achieve the desired peace for the good of all."

Pope Francis then invited the thousands present in St Peter's Square to "unite in prayer," and led the masses in a moment of silent prayer for the Holy Land.

Tensions between Israel and Palestine have steadily increased in recent weeks following the murder of 3 Israeli teenagers, whose bodies were discovered June 30. The day of their funeral the body of a Palestinian teenager was found, whose death is seen as a retaliation killing.

Israel and Palestinian organization Hamas, seen as a terrorist group and whom Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has faulted for murder of the three Jewish teenagers, have continued to exchange fire in the Gaza area, despite a proposed cease-fire last week.

According to BBC News, health officials in Gaza report that at least 159 Palestinians have been killed since airstrikes from Israel began, including several civilians. Israel has stated that the strikes are in retaliation for continued rocket blasts from Hamas.

The agency also reports that earlier this morning Israeli military forces dropped leaflets over the city of Beit Lahiya in Gaza telling civilians to seek shelter ahead of further airstrikes near the security headquarters and police stations run by Hamas Islamist militants in Gaza.

Following the prayerful moment of silence, Pope Francis prayed "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: 'Never again war!' 'Everything is destroyed by war.'"

He asked that the Lord give to all the strength and courage "to take concrete actions to build peace...Make us willing to listen to the cry of our citizens who are asking us to transform our weapons into instruments of peace, our fears into trust, and our tensions into forgiveness."

During his reflections on the day's Gospel, which recounts the parable of the sower and the seed, the Bishop of Rome drew attention to Jesus' frequent use of parables, noting that he uses "a language understood by all, with images drawn from nature and everyday life situations."

He observed how the first three terrains where the sower drops the seeds are "unproductive" because "along the way the seeds are eaten by birds; on the stony ground they sprout up but immediately dry out because they didn't have roots" and "in the middle of the bushes the seeds are suffocated by thorns."

"The fourth soil is the good soil, and only there the seed takes root and bears fruit."

Recalling the explanation of the different soils Jesus gives to his disciples, the pontiff observed how the first three signify those people who hear God's word but don't welcome it; those who do welcome it, but only on a superficial level that breaks down when difficulties come; and those who listen to God's word but are too caught up in worldly concerns and the seduction of wealth, so it dies.

"Finally, the seed that falls on fertile ground represents the many who hear the word, welcome it, cherish it and understand it, and this brings fruit. The perfect model of this good soil is the virgin Mary."

Noting how Jesus speaks to each of us in the same way today, the Pope asked "With what attitude do we welcome" the word of God? "How is our heart? Which terrain does it resemble: a street, a stone, a bush?"

"It's up to us to become good ground without thorns or stones, but tilled and cultivated with care, so that it can bear good fruit for us and for our brothers and sisters," he said, explaining that we receive this seed in God's word each time we go to Mass, which needs "to be accepted, cherished, lived."

"Also in these summer months, during the holiday time, it's important to participate each Sunday at this table, drawing light and strength for our journey."


Founded in continued response to Pope John Paul IIs call for a New Evangelization, the Catholic News Agency (CNA) has been, since 2004, one of the fastest growing Catholic news providers to the English speaking world.


More Living Faith

'Practice and teach this prayer' - Pope Francis explains 'good news cannot be given with a sad face' Watch

Image of Pope Francis calls us to pray.

By Hannah Brockhaus (CNA/EWTN News)

Bringing all people the lasting joy of the Church should be the focus of their service, Pope Francis told representatives of the Jesuits on Monday, as he urged them to shun pursuit of worldly leadership and position. Rome, Italy (CNA/EWTN News) - "The service of good ... continue reading

Catholic Church issues new guidelines for cremation. Here's what you need to know Watch

Image of Cremation is permitted, but there are important rules to follow.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has issued new guidelines for cremation for Catholics. Cremation has been permitted in the Catholic Church since 1963, but many Catholics don't know there are also many rules surrounding the choice. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading

Pope Francis' moving appeal for Mosul Watch

Image of Pope Francis prays for the victims of ISIS cruelty.


ISIS fighters continue to defend their stronghold in Mosul, while its citizens slowly die of hunger, the war and more. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis got word of the ongoing fight between Iraqi forces and ISIS Jihads.During ... continue reading

'It's not like this!' - Pope Francis shares special message Watch

Image of Pope Francis.

By Elise Harris (CNA/EWTN News)

Dialogue is a key element of mercy, Pope Francis said Saturday, explaining that when we interrupt others in order to push our own opinions without truly listening, we risk ruining relationships. Vatican City, Rome (Catholic Online) - Speaking to pilgrims in St. Peter's ... continue reading

St. John Paul II Feast Day Celebration Watch

Image of Saint John Paul II.


With St. John Paul II feast day just around the corner, Saturday, October 22, take a moment to brush up on his wonderful life and celebrate with a prayer. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Saint John Paul II was born May 19, 1920 and passed away April 2, 2005. He was ... continue reading

Reaching out to the new generation: John Paul II documentary unlike any other Watch

Image of A new documentary of Pope John Paul II will help

By Tonia Borsellino (CNA/EWTN News)

Thousands of people gathered in St. Peter's Square and around their television sets to pray for Pope John Paul II as he passed away on April 2, 2005. They remembered the more than 26 years he served as the Holy Father; the courage he had in fighting communism; his ... continue reading

Is it okay for Catholics to celebrate Halloween? An exorcist explains Watch

Image of Is it okay for a Catholic to celebrate Halloween?

By Mary Rezac (CNA/EWTN News)

For years, Cecilia Cunningham and her husband took their children trick-or-treating in their then-suburban Philadelphia neighborhood. Denver, CO (Catholic Online) - "It was the kind of neighborhood outside of Philadelphia where everybody knew each other, and it was a ... continue reading

The beautiful meeting of John Paul II and Mother Teresa Watch

Image of John Paul II met St. Mother Teresa.

By Mary Rezac (CNA/EWTN News)

It's been said that saints often come in pairs. Vatican City, Rome (CNA/EWTN News) - Sts. Peter and Paul, Mary and Joseph, Francis and Clare, and Louis and Zelie Martin are just a handful of such saints, coupled together through marriage or friendship.Perhaps the ... continue reading

The Catholic Liturgy is NOT on the decline, despite doctrine controversies Watch

Image of There is always hope for the Church's liturgical music.

By Adelaide Mena (CNA/EWTN News)

For decades, there's been concern in many corners of the Church that Catholic music is in crisis. LOS ANGELES, CA (CNA/EWTN News) - The 1992 book "Why Catholics Can't Sing" outlined a history of modern Catholic Liturgical music and a rapid shift away from traditional ... continue reading

Check out our children's shopping items! Watch

Image of Teach your kids about Christ.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online now has more children's options in its store! LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Take a look at some of the new products made especially for children!Whether you want to teach your kids about the Bible or the Rosary, Catholic Shopping has just the ... continue reading

All Living Faith News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 5:21-33
21 Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.22 ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 128:1-2, 3, 4-5
1 [Song of Ascents] How blessed are all who fear Yahweh, who walk in his ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:18-21
18 He went on to say, 'What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 25th, 2016 Image

St. Daria
October 25: There is very little known about them. ... Read More