The Pope's Words Were Delivered In St. Peter's Square Photo: Vatican Media

A Day After Demolished Hospital, Pope Advocates for Gaza and Calls for a Day of Fast and Prayer in the Vatican

On the afternoon of October 27, Saint Peter’s Square will become a place of prayer for peace

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(ZENIT News / Vatican City, 18.10.2023).- A day after a missile demolished a hospital full of patients and Gazans in search of protection, Pope Francis expressed his closeness to the peoples in litigation: “Today too, dear brothers and sisters, our thoughts turn to Palestine and Israel. The number of victims is rising and the situation in Gaza is desperate. Please, let everything possible be done to avoid a humanitarian disaster.”

The Holy Father pronounced these words in Saint Peter’s Square, at the end of the weekly catechesis, which gathered some 20,000 people in Vatican City to see him and hear him.

The Pontiff expressed his concern over “the possible widening of the conflict, [which] is disturbing,” adding emphatically:”while so many war fronts are already open in the world, may weapons be silenced, and let us heed the cry for peace of the poor, the people, the children… Brothers and sisters, war does not solve any problem: it sows only death and destruction, foments hate, proliferates revenge. War cancels out the future, it cancels out the future. I urge believers to take just one side in this conflict: that of peace. But not in words – in prayer, with total dedication.”

Finally the Pope said: “withthis in mind, I have decided to call for a day of fasting and prayer on Friday,  October 27, a day of penance to which I invite sisters and brothers of the various Christian denominations, those belonging to other religions and all those who have at heart the cause of peace in the world, to join in as they see fit. That evening, at 18.00 at Saint Peter’s, we will spend an hour of prayer in a spirit of penance to implore peace in our time, peace in this world. I ask all the particular Churches to participate by arranging similar activities involving the People of God.

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