Prayer for Peace in Holy Land Urged by Pope

Address Before Reciting Regina Caeli

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 28, 2002 ( Here is a translation of the address John Paul II gave today before reciting the Regina Caeli with pilgrims gathered in St. Peter´s Square.

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Dear Brothers and Sisters!

1. The liturgy of today, Fifth Sunday of Eastertide, presents Christ to us as “Way, Truth and Life” (see John 14:6). He is the only way of salvation, the full truth that makes us free, the true life that gives meaning to our existence.

His radiant countenance of glory fully reveals to us the truth of God and the truth of man. Everyone can fix his eyes on his face at any time, to find understanding, serenity and forgiveness. St. Catherine of Siena, patroness of Italy and Europe, whose feast day we celebrate tomorrow, also reminds us of this. She wrote to the Elders of Lucca: “Know, dear brothers, that all of us are on the way, pilgrims and wayfarers. … But be comforted, because we have been given a guide, and it is the only-begotten Word Incarnate, Son of God, who teaches us the way we must go on that shining path that he himself is” (Letter, 168).

2. Next Wednesday, the month of May begins, consecrated to Mary. For centuries popular piety has made this month a wonderful occasion to multiply initiatives of Marian piety. Let us live intensely, dear Brothers and Sisters, these days dedicated to the heavenly Mother of the Lord. Let us pray the holy rosary, if possible every day, either on our own or in community. The rosary is a simple prayer, but profound and very effective, to implore graces for families, communities and the whole world.

3. Given the international situation, where so many needs and problems arise and, in particular, in face of the endless drama of the Holy Land, we must take confident recourse to the maternal intercession of the Virgin. We may be sure that she can sustain the efforts of the one who seeks peace with sincerity and determination. No one more than she, the Queen of Peace, constantly watches over this exhausting way of humanity. Therefore, may an uninterrupted and common prayer be raised to heaven from every part of the world during the month of May, so that at last initiatives for easing tension and for dialogue will be affirmed in the Land of Christ, and in every other place of the planet, marked by violence and pain.
[Translation by ZENIT]

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