Jan. 26 Pray for Peace in Ukraine
In remarks following his Jan. 23rd Angelus for Sunday of the Word of God, Pope Francis called for a day of prayer for peace in Ukraine on Jan. 26, saying “I make a heartfelt appeal to all people of good will to raise prayers to Almighty God that all political actions and initiatives may be at the service of human brotherhood…”
As the threat of a Russian invasion into the Eastern European country increases, the pope said he has been following with concern “the increase of tensions that threaten to inflict a new blow to the peace in Ukraine and call into question the security of the European continent, with wider repercussions.”
“I make a heartfelt appeal to all people of good will to raise prayers to Almighty God that all political actions and initiatives may be at the service of human brotherhood rather than partisan interests.”
Bishop Walkowiak joins U.S. Catholic Bishops asking for fasting and prayer as well:
The U.S. Bishops, in a statement released Jan. 25, wrote:
“Earlier, the Holy Father had expressed concerns about Ukraine and the hope ‘that the tensions it is experiencing may be resolved through serious international dialogue and not with weapons.’
“Let us join with the Holy Father who, in his 2022 address to the diplomatic corps, said, ‘Reciprocal trust and readiness to engage in calm discussion should inspire all parties at stake, so that acceptable and lasting solutions can be found in Ukraine…’
“The Catholic bishops of Ukraine and Poland issued an appeal on January 24 that leaders refrain from war and ‘withdraw ultimatums immediately.’ They called on ‘the international community to join efforts in solidarity and actively support those under threat in all possible ways.’
“In this time of fear and uncertainty, we stand in solidarity with the Church in Ukraine and offer our support. We call on all the faithful and people of good will to pray for the people of Ukraine, especially on January 26, that they may know the blessings of peace.”
Pope Francis’ Prayer for Peace
Lord God of peace, hear our prayer!
We have tried so many times and over so many years to resolve our conflicts by our own powers and by the force of our arms. How many moments of hostility and darkness have we experienced; how much blood has been shed; how many lives have been shattered; how many hopes have been buried… But our efforts have been in vain.
Now, Lord, come to our aid! Grant us peace, teach us peace; guide our steps in the way of peace. Open our eyes and our hearts, and give us the courage to say: “Never again war!”; “With war everything is lost”. Instill in our hearts the courage to take concrete steps to achieve peace.
Lord, God of Abraham, God of the Prophets, God of Love, you created us and you call us to live as brothers and sisters. Give us the strength daily to be instruments of peace; enable us to see everyone who crosses our path as our brother or sister. Make us sensitive to the plea of our citizens who entreat us to turn our weapons of war into implements of peace, our trepidation into confident trust, and our quarreling into forgiveness.
Keep alive within us the flame of hope, so that with patience and perseverance we may opt for dialogue and reconciliation. In this way may peace triumph at last, and may the words “division”, “hatred” and “war” be banished from the heart of every man and woman. Lord, defuse the violence of our tongues and our hands. Renew our hearts and minds, so that the word which always brings us together will be “brother”, and our way of life will always be that of: Shalom, Peace, Salaam!