Pope Francis Calls for Day of Prayer & Fasting for Peace Amid Ukraine Crisis

Daniel Ibáñez, EWTN Vatican / ChurchPOP

Please pray for Ukraine! 🇺🇦

Pope Francis requested that Ash Wednesday (March 2) be a day of prayer and fasting for world peace during his Wed., Feb. 23 audience.

Russia invaded several Ukrainian border locations in the early morning of Feb. 24. Reports said Vladimir Putin intends to overthrow the Ukrainian government.

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One senior U.S. defense official told Fox News “that they have every intention of basically decapitating the government.”

The official added that it could be a “very bloody, very costly, and very impactful on European security writ large, perhaps for a long, long time to come.”

Pope Francis said his “heart aches greatly at the worsening situation.”

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Here’s Pope Francis’ statement:

 

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Here’s the text of his statement:

“My heart aches greatly at the worsening situation in eastern Ukraine. Despite the diplomatic efforts of the last few weeks, increasingly alarming scenarios are opening up. Like me, many people all over the world are feeling anguish and concern.

“Once again the peace of all is threatened by partisan interests.

“I would like to appeal to those with political responsibility to examine their consciences seriously before God, who is the God of peace and not of war; who is the Father of all, not just of some, who wants us to be brothers and not enemies.

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“I pray that all the parties involved refrain from any action that would cause even more suffering to the people, destabilizing coexistence between nations, and bringing international law into disrepute.

“And now I would like to appeal to everyone, believers and non-believers alike.

“Jesus taught us that the diabolical senselessness of violence is answered with God’s weapons, with prayer and fasting. I invite everyone to make next 2 March, Ash Wednesday, a day of fasting for peace. I encourage believers in a special way to dedicate themselves to prayer and fasting on that day.

“May the Queen of Peace preserve the world from the madness of war.”

Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin also issued a statement “lamenting” the “tragic invasion.”

Here’s the video below:


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Prayer for Peace by Pope St. John XXIII

Lord Jesus Christ, who are called the Prince of Peace,
who are yourself our peace and reconciliation,
who so often said, “Peace to you,” grant us peace.

Make all men and women witnesses of truth, justice, and brotherly love.
Banish from their hearts whatever might endanger peace.
Enlighten our rulers that they may guarantee and defend the great gift of peace.

May all peoples on the earth
become as brothers and sisters.
May longed for peace blossom forth
and reign always over us all.

Amen.

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[See also: “Pray, Pray, Pray”: Exorcist Unmasks Satan’s Open Spiritual Warfare in America]

[See also: 7 Powerful Messages from Our Lady of Fatima: “The Grace of God Will Be Your Comfort”]

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Jacqueline Burkepile is the editor for the English edition of ChurchPOP. She is a journalist, former university campus minister, and a wife and mother. You can follow her posts on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.