Pray for peace in Ukraine

February 24, 2022

With the escalation in hostilities in Eastern Europe, and the invasion by Russian forces into a neighbouring independent country, Christians everywhere should be encouraged to pray for peace, and for a just resolution to the international crisis.

Catholicism teaches that wars of aggression can never be justified. In his general audience at the Vatican on Wednesday 23rd February, Pope Francis urged leaders to abstain from any moves that would cause further suffering for people.

''Despite the diplomatic efforts of the last few weeks, ever more alarming scenarios are unfolding. Like me, many people around the world are anguished and worried. Once again, the peace that belongs to everyone is threatened by partisan interests'', the Pope said.
“I want to appeal to those with political responsibilities to make a serious examination of conscience before God — who is the God of peace and not war, who is the father of all and not just some and wants us to be brothers, not enemies.”

The Pontiff has proclaimed Ash Wednesday, March 2 – which is the beginning of the season of Lent - as an international day of fasting and prayer for peace.

If you are struggling to know how to pray for today’s situation in Ukraine, we invite you to pray this prayer:

Heavenly Father,

Your will for your people is peace, not war.

Pour out on our world, especially in Eastern Europe, your Spirit of compassion and solidarity.

Grant all those who believe in you the strength to be close to those who suffer

and the courage to resolve their differences and conflicts in truth and without resort to arms.

Be with the widow, the orphan, the refugee and the peacemaker.

Bind us all into the peace of your Kingdom.

Through Christ our Lord,

Amen.

By Fr Damian Howard SJ,

Provincial for the Jesuits in Britain

Image: the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. Photo by Elizabeth Harrison.

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