.- While he was visiting Montecassino Abbey on Sunday evening, Pope Benedict XVI also paid his respects to those buried in a nearby Polish military cemetery. The Holy Father prayed at the cemetery for the fallen of all nations, and in particular, for mankind to realize that âthe gift of peace is much more precious than any corruptible treasure.â
The cemetery visited by the Pope contains the remains of 1,052 soldiers who died fighting to take back Montecassino Abbey from the Nazis in 1944. During his Sunday evening visit, the Holy Father lit a votive candle and recited a prayer for the fallen of all countries in all wars.
"O God, our Father,â the Pope began, âendless source of life and peace, welcome into Your merciful embrace the fallen of the war that raged here, the fallen on all wars that have bloodied the earth. Grant that they may enjoy the light that does not fail, which in the reflection of Your splendor illumines the consciences of all men and women of good will.â
âYou, Who in Your Son Jesus Christ gave suffering humanity a glorious witness of Your love for us, You, Who in our Lord Christ gave us the sign of a suffering that is never in vain, but fruitful in Your redeeming power, grant those who yet suffer for the blind violence of fratricidal wars the strength of the hope that does not fade, the dream of a definitive civilization of love, the courage of a real and daily activity of peace.â
Benedict XVI also prayed to the Holy Spirit, asking for the grace that âthe men of our time may understand that the gift of peace is much more precious than any corruptible treasure,â and that until the Last Day, âwe are all called to be builders of peace for the future of Your children.â
âMake all Christians more convinced witnesses of life, the inestimable gift of Your love, You Who live and reign for ever and ever Amen.â