Pope prays for victims of world conflicts

In remarks following Monday's Angelus, Benedict XVI noted how the "many situations of conflict in the world bring almost daily tragic news of victims, both military and civilian".

"These are events to which we can never accustom ourselves, events that provoke profound reproof and dismay in societies that have peace and civil coexistence close at heart".

"The recent attack against the Italian contingent in Afghanistan caused me profound grief", the Pope said.  "I join in prayer with the suffering of the families and the civil and military communities. At the same time I express the same sentiments to the other international contingents, which have also recently suffered victims and which work to promote peace and the development of institutions necessary for human coexistence".

"I give assurances to all that I mention them before the Lord, with a special thought for the dear civilian population. And I invite everyone to raise prayers to God".

The Pope also encouraged people "to promote solidarity among nations in order to contrast the logic of violence and death,with  justice, reconciliation and peace, and support the development of peoples on the basis of love and mutual understanding, as I wrote recently in my Encyclical 'Caritas in veritate'".

Benedict XVI then went on to refer to his forthcoming apostolic trip to the Czech Republic, due to take place from 26 to 28 September. There, he said, "I will visit the capital Prague, also visiting Brno in Moravia, and Stara Boleslav, site of the martyrdom of St Wenceslas, the main patron of the country".

"The Czech Republic lies, geographically and historically, at the heart of Europe. Having traversed the drama of last century, it needs, as does the entire continent, to rediscover reasons for faith and hope", said the Pope.

The Holy Father also gave assurances that, following in the footsteps of John Paul II who visited the Czech Republic on three occasions, "I will pay homage to the heroic witnesses to the Gospel, old and new, and encourage everyone to live in charity and truth".

He concluded: "Even now I would like to express my thanks to those who will accompany my journey with their prayers, that the Lord may bless it and make it fruitful".

Source: VIS

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