PONTIFICAL COUNCIL for INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE

May 25th – Regina Coeli after the Mass in Bethlehem (excerpt)

In this, the birthplace of the Prince of Peace, 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.