As the conflict between Israel and Hamas continues to cause turmoil in the Holy Land, and so many other wars and conflicts continue to rage on, Catholics have the unique opportunity to participate in the pursuit of peace. Pope Francis has called on Catholics the world over to fast, pray, and do penance for the intention of a peaceful resolution to the war.
During his general audience on October 18, the Holy Father called for a World Day of Prayer, scheduled to take place on Friday, October 27. At the audience, Pope Francis stated that “the situation in Gaza is desperate,” and he lamented the growing number of casualties.
Pope Francis stated:
“Lay down weapons and heed the cries for peace from the poor, the people, and the innocent children. War solves no problems,” he said. “It only sows death and destruction, increases hatred, multiplies revenge. War erases the future, it erases the future.”
The Pope went on to direct the faithful to take no side in this conflict but the side of peace and to do so “with prayer and with total dedication.” He then announced that October 27 will be a World Day of Prayer for peace, inviting not just Catholics, but all Christian denominations to take part. On the day, Pope Francis himself will preside over a Holy Hour at 6 p.m. from St. Peter’s Square.