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Jerusalem archbishop calls for prayers for peace as violence increases

Jerusalem archbishop calls for prayers for peace as violence increases

"The living presence of Christ to safeguard, defend and expand in us is the lamp that lights our footsteps, a light that guides our choices, a flame that warms our hearts in going to encounter the Lord, making us able to help those who journey with us" toward eternity, the pope said.

I express my great pain for the dead and wounded and I am close to all who suffer with my prayers.

Israeli forces killed 60 Palestinians near the Gaza-Israel border on Monday during demonstrations against the opening of the USA embassy in occupied Jerusalem, in the bloodiest day in Gaza in years.

He expressed his deep concern "at the escalation of tension in the Holy Land and in the Middle East, and the spiral of violence that is moving away further from the path of peace, dialogue and negotiation".

He led those at the audience in praying a Hail Mary, invoking "Mary, Queen of Peace" and concluding with the prayer, "May God have mercy on us!" "War begets war and violence begets violence".

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Pope Francis Wednesday invited "all the parties involved and the worldwide community to renew their commitment so that dialogue, justice and peace prevail".

Pope Francis concluded his catechesis with the words of his recent Apostolic Exhortation "Rejoice and Be Glad", urging his listeners to let the grace of Baptism bear fruit in their lives.

If we are clothed in Christ, St Paul reminded the early believers in his letter to the Colossians, we must take on the virtues of "compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience".

"I was in Ausonia in the year '59". He explained that is symbolized the fire of faith passing from the godparents and parents to the child. Christian education, he said, is a right of each child so that they can gradually come to know the plan of God for them.

This is our Christian vocation, Pope Francis continued, to walk as sons and daughters of the light, persevering in faith.