(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has extended an invitation to Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, and to Israeli President, Shimon Peres, to come to the Vatican and join him in praying to God for the gift of peace. “I offer my home in the Vatican as a place for this encounter of prayer”, said the Pope.
“In this, the birthplace of the Prince of Peace”, said Pope Francis,” I wish to invite you, President Mahmoud Abbas, together with President Shimon Peres, to join me in heartfelt prayer to God for the gift of peace. I offer my home in the Vatican as a place for this encounter of prayer.
All of us want peace. Many people build it day by day through small gestures and acts; many of them are suffering, yet patiently persevere in their efforts to be peacemakers. All of us – especially those placed at the service of their respective peoples – have the duty to become instruments and artisans of peace, especially by our prayers. Building peace is difficult, but living without peace is a constant torment. The men and women of these lands, and of the entire world, all of them, ask us to bring before God their fervent hopes for peace.”
The surprise invitation came after the recitation of the Regina Coeli following the celebration of Mass in Manger Square, Bethlehem, on Sunday morning.
Listen to this report by our correspondent in the Holy land, Philippa Hitchen who tells us about this invitation and the Mass celebrated by the Pope in Bethlehem:
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