In the cradle of our faith, the Holy Land, where the message of love and redemption was first shared with the world, we once again find ourselves at a juncture of conflict and sorrow. As Pope Francis has passionately expressed, the situation has reached an alarming intensity, and the cries for peace echo louder than ever.
“May weapons be silenced, and let us heed the cry for peace of the poor, the people, the children,” Pope Francis told us on October 18, urging for prayer, fasting and sacrifice for peace in the Holy Land.
“War cancels out the future, it cancels out the future. I urge believers to take just one side in this conflict: that of peace. But not in words – in prayer, with total dedication,” the Holy Father has said.
The Holy Land is a testament to the living history of Christianity, a place where time stands still, and the narratives of the Bible come to life. It is where Christ, the beacon of peace and salvation, was born, walked, and shared His message.
Today, this very land, which bore witness to Christ’s love, yearns for unity and peace.
Pope Francis, our shepherd, has implored us all to stand together, not as divided factions or differing political beliefs, but as one human family. The escalating conflict has led to an ever-increasing number of victims, and the threat of a humanitarian catastrophe looms large. “War does not solve any problem,” he reminds us. Instead, it sows seeds of destruction, division, and despair. It is our collective responsibility, as believers and guardians of peace, to counter this with compassion, prayer, and action.
In response to the Holy Father’s call, we, the “young Church” of the United States and the world beyond, reach out to support the “oldest Church in the world” in the Holy Land. We believe it is our duty to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who face these trials daily, reminding them that they are not alone. Our faith, which binds us across continents and cultures, is our guiding light, and together, we can be a beacon of hope and love.
And let us continue praying for peace and generously giving in support of the missionary women and men who are on the ground, sowing peace.
“It is urgent to ask, to please, to intercede for peace,” said Father Gabriel Romanelli, a missionary from the Institute of the Incarnate Word who has been in the region- mostly in Gaza- for the past four years. “Many have lost loved ones, there are thousands of dead, and thousands and thousands of wounded, many have lost their homes, businesses, everything.”
Our appeal is simple, yet profound. We ask you to join us in this mission of peace. Contribute in any way you see fit – be it through prayer, fasting, or materially supporting those afflicted. Let us all come together, shedding aside our differences, and unite under the banner of Christ’s love.
We are, above all, children of the same Heavenly Father. Let us not be mere spectators but active participants in crafting a future filled with hope and harmony. Together, let us heed the cries of those who desperately imploring Christ for peace.
The Pontifical Mission Societies USA joins echoes Pope Francis’ appeals for peace. In an attempt to answer this cry both with prayer and concrete action, we have launched “Sowers of Peace: The Holy Land Crisis Fund,” to offer material support to Christians in the Holy Land. To learn more, go here.