On the day following the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States, it was General Audience Day in the Vatican. Pope John Paul II set aside his weekly reflection saying he could not begin this audience without expressing his profound sorrow at the attacks which brought death and destruction to America.
“Even if the forces of darkness appear to prevail, those who believe in God know that evil and death do not have the final say,” he said.
On April 20, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI made the first papal visit to Ground Zero in New York. He prayed in English for “eternal light and peace for those killed and healing for their families.
He asked the Lord to “Give us the wisdom and courage to work tirelessly for a world where true peace and love reign among nations and in the hearts of all.
During Pope Francis’ apostolic visit to the United States, he too visited Ground Zero. The monument had been completed and the Holy Father laid a white rose on the edge of the reflecting pool.
He held an interreligious meeting at the poignantly symbolic venue and appealed for all religions to promote peace together and said: “For all our differences and disagreements, we can experience a world of peace.”