During a meeting with participants in the general chapter of the monastic family of Bethlehem, of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and of St. Bruno, Pope John Paul requested special prayers for peace in the Middle East.
In his address, the Pope assured the female religious that through a “humble and bold faithfulness, in the silence that characterizes your secluded lives, you are supported by the prayers of the Virgin Mary.”
“Through your contemplative life,” the Pope continued, “you raise the world up to God and remind the human beings of our time of the place of silence and prayer in their existence.”
The Holy Father requested that St. Bruno give them “the grace to remain vigilant in prayer, mounting a ‘holy and persevering guard, while awaiting the return of the Lord, to open to Him when He calls.’”
Showing his concern for the violence in the Holy Land, the Pope said: “I particularly invite your monastic family, which bears the name of Bethlehem birthplace of the Emmanuel, to intensify your prayers for the Middle East, beseeching the Lord to give the grace of peace and of reconciliation to all inhabitants of that region so tormented by violence.”