CV NEWS FEED // The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has joined the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa and the bishops in the Holy Land in their call for a worldwide day of fasting, prayer, and abstinence for peace on October 17.
Pizzaballa, who serves as the head of Latin Catholics living in Israel, the Palestinian territories, Jordan, and Cyprus, said in a letter:
Let us organize prayer times with Eucharistic adoration and with the recitation of the Rosary to Our Blessed Virgin Mary. Although most probably in many parts of our dioceses circumstances will not permit large gatherings, it is possible to organize simple and sober common moments of prayer in parishes, religious communities, and families.
Catholics around the world have expressed their solidarity in pledging to fast and pray for peace in the Holy Land, which has undergone significant violence every day for the past week.
“The pain and dismay at what is happening is great. Once again we find ourselves in the midst of a political and military crisis. We have suddenly been catapulted into a sea of unprecedented violence,” Pizzaballa wrote:
The hatred, which we have unfortunately already been experiencing for too long, will increase even more, and the ensuing spiral of violence will create more destruction. Everything seems to speak of death.
Yet, in this time of sorrow and dismay, we do not want to remain helpless. We cannot let death and its sting (1 Cor 15:55) be the only word we hear.
Reiterating the need for prayer to obtain strength, the cardinal concluded: “This is the way we all come together despite everything, and unite collectively in prayer, to deliver to God the Father our thirst for peace, justice, and reconciliation.”
October 17 is the feast of St. Ignatius of Antioch, a first-century martyr and Church Father.