By Vatican News
As the Church prepares to celebrate Pentecost, Catholics around the world are invited to take part in a vigil in the heart of the Holy Land to pray for peace in the troubled region.
The event takes place at 4 PM (Rome time) on Saturday in the Church of St. Stephen, and will be broadcast across Vatican Media's channels, including on the homepage of Vatican News.
Speaking on Friday, Pope Francis urged the entire Church to take part spiritually in the prayer for peace, which is promoted by the Catholic Ordinaries in the Holy City.
“My thoughts,” Pope Francis told new non-resident ambassadors to the Holy See, “turn to the events taking place these days in the Holy Land. I thank God for the decision to halt the armed conflicts and acts of violence, and I pray for the pursuit of paths of dialogue and peace. Tomorrow evening, the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land, together with their faithful, will gather to celebrate the Vigil of Pentecost in Saint Stephen’s Church in Jerusalem and to implore the gift of peace.”
“I take this opportunity,” added the Pope, “to ask all the pastors and faithful of the Catholic Church to unite themselves spiritually with this prayer. May every community pray to the Holy Spirit ‘that Israelis and Palestinians may find the path of dialogue and forgiveness, be patient builders of peace and justice, and be open, step by step, to a common hope, to coexistence among brothers and sisters.’”
The Pope’s appeal echoes an earlier prayer for peace in the Holy Land delivered at the Regina Coeli address on 16 May.