Skip to content

We ask you, humbly: don't scroll away.

Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you.

Help Now >

Patriarch of Jerusalem Calls for Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

In a heartfelt call for peace and reconciliation in the Holy Land, the Latin Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem, Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, has issued a plea for a day of prayer and fasting set for Tuesday, October 17. As tensions and violence escalate in the region, this initiative aims to deliver a resounding message of hope, unity, and solidarity amidst the chaos. The cardinal has urged Catholics to join together in this spiritual endeavor, with a focus on Eucharistic adoration and the recitation of the rosary.

Let us pray for an end to war. 
Photo credit: Jeff Kingma

Let us pray for an end to war. Photo credit: Jeff Kingma


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
10/16/2023 (7 months ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Latin Catholic Patriarch, Jerusalem, Day of Prayer, Fasting, Peace, Holy Land, Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa

"In this time of sorrow and dismay, we do not want to remain helpless. We cannot let death and its sting (1 Cor 15:55) be the only word we hear," Cardinal Pizzaballa stated in a heartfelt message issued on October 11. "That is why we feel the need to pray, to turn our hearts to God the Father. Only in this way can we draw the strength and serenity needed to endure these hard times, by turning to Him, in prayer and intercession, to implore and cry out to God amidst this anguish."

Cardinal Pizzaballa, who serves as the head of Latin Catholics living in Israel, the Palestinian territories, Jordan, and Cyprus, recognizes the challenges imposed by the ongoing war, making large gatherings difficult. Therefore, he encourages "simple and sober common moments of prayer in parishes, religious communities, and families." This approach allows the faithful to come together in prayer while adhering to safety measures.

Solidarity for peace in the Holy Land has also transcended geographic boundaries, with Catholics worldwide pledging to participate in the day of fasting and prayer. The date, October 17, coincides with the feast of St. Ignatius of Antioch, the first-century bishop and martyr from Syria, adding a layer of spiritual significance to the initiative.

The recent wave of violence in the Holy Land was triggered by Hamas' unprecedented multi-front attack on Israel, resulting in the loss of many lives and extensive destruction. In response, the Israeli government vowed retaliation and launched airstrikes on the blockaded Gaza Strip, further escalating the crisis. The situation worsened as militants took 130 Israeli hostages, threatening to execute one hostage for each Israeli military strike on civilian targets in Gaza without warning.

Cardinal Pizzaballa expressed profound sorrow and concern about the ongoing violence, noting that this crisis had thrust the region into a sea of unprecedented violence. "The hatred, which we have unfortunately already been experiencing for too long, will increase even more, and the ensuing spiral of violence will create more destruction. Everything seems to speak of death."

Having returned to Jerusalem on October 10 after a consistory visit to Italy, Cardinal Pizzaballa anticipates a prolonged conflict. He voiced concerns about the possibility of an Israeli ground operation in Gaza, which could further exacerbate the situation. He shared that Christians in Gaza had sought refuge within the Catholic parish and school grounds, desperately hoping to avoid becoming targets of the violence.

Cardinal Pizzaballa emphasized the importance of addressing the root causes of the conflict, highlighting the need to consider the Palestinian issue, freedom, dignity, and the future of the Palestinian people. He called on the international community to play a more active role in mediating a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, emphasizing that private, non-public negotiations might yield more fruitful results.

"We need support, to condemn all forms of violence, to isolate the violent, and to work relentlessly for a ceasefire. Because as long as weapons speak, it will not be possible to hear other voices," the cardinal concluded.

As the call for a day of prayer and fasting reverberates across the Catholic community and beyond, it stands as a symbol of unwavering hope and a collective plea for peace and reconciliation in the Holy Land during these trying times.

Join the Movement
When you sign up below, you don't just join an email list - you're joining an entire movement for Free world class Catholic education.

Saint of the Day logo
Prayer of the Day logo

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2024 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2024 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.