Israeli, Palestinian leaders to pray with Pope in Rome

Pontiff had on recent visit invited both to visit Vatican and ‘beseech God for gift of peace’

President Shimon Peres of Israel and President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine will visit Pope Francis at the Vatican next Sunday to pray for peace in the Holy Land.

On his recent visit there, Pope Francis invited both Presidents to come to Rome where, together, they “might beseech God for the gift of peace”.

Also taking part will be His Holiness, Bartholomew, Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople. They will pray at the tomb of St Peter in St Peter’s basilica.

Papal nuncios around the world have been requested by Pope Francis to invite their local churches to participate in a similar spiritual initiative.

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The Catholic Primate of All Ireland, Cardinal Seán Brady, as president of the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference, has also received a message from Pope Francis requesting that all bishops, priests, men and women religious and all laypeople in Ireland be invited to participate this weekend in heartfelt prayer to unite in support of peace in the Holy Land.

Cardinal Brady this afternoon encouraged “the faithful of Ireland, and all people of goodwill, to support this request from Pope Francis, trusting that the Lord’s promise may be fulfilled: ‘I say to you, if two or three of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven’.”

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry is Religious Affairs Correspondent of The Irish Times