Jerusalem, May 24, 2021 / 09:46 am
The Patriarch of Jerusalem urged peace, mutual understanding, and cooperation among religious groups in his homily on Saturday, underscoring the unique character of the city of Jerusalem and the importance of maintaining peace.
Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa noted on May 22, the Vigil of Pentecost, that not only was his flock gathered to pray for the gift of the Holy Spirit, they were “also here to pray for peace, for justice, and for the end of violence.”
“It is not the first time that exactly on this occasion of the Vigil of Pentecost, we find ourselves praying and supplicating for the end of the war that is in our Land,” he said. “Above all, we are united in prayer with the families of those killed during these past days, with those who lost their homes, with those who are left alone and without any hope in their lives.”
Patriarch Pizzaballa requested prayers for the Christians in Gaza, whom he described as a “small community” that has been “bewildered by this umpteenth wave of violence,” and for all residents of Gaza. He characterized Gazans as people who have “for years been humiliated, deprived of freedom, dignity and basic rights.”
“The present cessation of hostilities has brought perhaps a bit of calm to our families, but it has not resolved the problems from which this violence originated,” he said.
Prior to Pentecost, Pope Francis urged the entire world to unite in prayer with Jerusalem, and for peace in the Holy Land. Patriarch Pizzaballa thanked Pope Francis for his concern, remarking that the pope has “not ceased to desire for peace in the Holy Land, through prayers, initiatives, and continuous reminders.”
“His desire for peace is also ours,” said Patriarch Pizzaballa.
“Together with him and the entire universal Church, we pray here today above all, for our conversion so that we may truly believe that the Holy Spirit would bring about peace,” he said. “I know well that this may be difficult, given our situation, to truly believe it. We pray so that together we may become builders of peace and justice in our Land.”