Pope Francis had those present pray a Hail Mary this Sunday in St. Peter's Square Photo: Vatican Media

From the Vatican, Pope Appeals for Respect of Humanitarian Law in Gaza

Pope asked 22,000 people, who gathered in Saint Peter’s Square at midday this Sunday, to pray a special Holy Mary for peace. He interceded for Gaza without minimizing what Israelis have suffered.

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Valentina di Giorgio 

(ZENIT News / Vatican City, 15.10.2023).- For the second consecutive Sunday, Pope Francis took advantage of the global platform that Saint Peter’s Square gives him, to renew his appeal for peace, this time in face of the situation in the Holy Land.

“I continue to follow with great sorrow what is happening in Israel and Palestine. I think again of the many  . . . in particular the children and the elderly. I renew my appeal for the freeing of the hostages and strongly ask that children, the sick, the elderly, women, and all civilians not be made victims of the conflict. Humanitarian law is to be respected, especially in Gaza, where it is urgent and necessary to ensure humanitarian corridors and to come to the aid of the entire population.”

Visibly emphatic he stressed to the 22,000 people listening to him in Saint Peter’s Square at midday this Sunday, October 15: “Brothers and sisters, already many have died. Please, let no more innocent blood be shed, neither in the Holy Land nor in Ukraine, nor in any other place! Enough! Wars are always a defeat, always!

Pope Francis had those present pray a Holy Mary, prayer that was preceded by these words: “Prayer is the meek and holy force to oppose the diabolical force of hatred, terrorism and war. I invite all believers to join with the Church in the Holy Land  and to dedicate next Tuesday, October 17, to prayer and fasting. And now let us pray to Our Lady [Hail Mary].

The Holy Father also alluded to other conflicts underway: “My concern for the crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh has not waned. In addition to the humanitarian situation of the displaced people — which is serious — I would also like to make a special appeal for the protection of the monasteries and places of worship in the region. I hope that, starting with the Authorities and all the inhabitants, they can be respected and protected as part of the local culture, expressions of faith and a sign of a fraternity that makes possible to live together despite differences.”

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