“Inside every Christian, there is a Jew.” —Pope Francis
This weekend’s pilgrimage of Pope Francis to the Holy Land to pray for peace comes fifty years after the historic visit to Jerusalem of Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras of Constantinople in 1964.
Historic meeting on Jan. 8, 1964, on the Mount of Olives: Marking the first meeting between leaders of Eastern and Western churches since the Schism of 1054.
Pope Francis prayed yesterday with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I at the Stone of Unction at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.
Calling for peace at Mass at Manger Square in Bethlehem on the West Bank (Photo: Melanie Lidman)
Calling on the Prince of Peace:
Praying and calling for peace and understanding at every opportunity, the Holy Father, during his homily at Sunday Mass in Bethlehem, invited Israeli and Palestinian leaders to meet June 6 at the Vatican.
“In this, the birthplace of the Prince of Peace, I wish to invite you, President Mahmoud Abbas, together with President Shimon Peres, to join me in heartfelt prayer to God for the gift of peace. I offer my home in the Vatican as a place for this encounter of prayer.”
“All of us — especially those placed at the service of their respective peoples — have the duty to become instruments and artisans of peace, especially by our prayers… Building peace is difficult, but living without peace is a constant torment.”
A children’s choir sang a most beautiful “Hallelujah” cover earlier this morning to welcome the Holy Father. May their sung prayers for peace blend with those of all of us who pray with them around the world.
Video from Rome Reports
As we here in the United States remember all those who gave their lives to preserve our freedom as a nation, may we live each day with a focus on the words attributed to the saint for whom the Holy Father took his name: “Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.”