Pope Francis received a group of Carmelite religious from Bethlehem and Sisters of the Rosary from Jerusalem, who were in Rome for yesterday’s canonization.
Among the four blesseds canonized yesterday were the first two saints from the Holy Land: Sts. Mariam Baouardy and Marie Alphonsine Danil Ghattas.
During his brief address, the Holy Father thanked the sisters for their participation in yesterday’s celebration and entrusted them with a mission.
“Pray to the new saints for peace in your land, so that this unending war may end and there is peace between peoples,” he said.
He encouraged them to “pray for persecuted Christians, who are kicked out of their homes, from their land and the victims of persecution ‘with white gloves’ [i.e. from a distance]: it is hidden, but it is done.”
The Holy Father prayed a Hail Mary with the religious women for peace in the Middle East.
Pope Francis also took a moment to joke around with the sisters present. “I am of this pilgrimage of sisters for the canonization of the new saints,” he said. “The president of the State of Palestine told me that a plane full of nuns departed from Jordan! Poor pilot!” (J.A.E.)