In a bid to bring peace amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, the Catholic head, Pope Francis, calls for a global day of prayer and fasting.
The Holy Father, speaking to his general audience on Wednesday, announced that he has mapped out Friday, October 27, for a day of global prayer and fasting in the hope that it brings an end to the Israel-Hamas conflict.
The Pope called on not only the Christian community but also people of all faiths and those who hold peace dear to join him in an hour of prayer and penance, seeking peace for our troubled world. The prayer is expected to be held in St. Peter’s Square by 6 p.m.
Pope Francis emphasized the urgency of the situation, particularly in Palestine and Israel, stating, “The number of victims is rising, and the situation in Gaza is desperate. Please, let everything possible be done to avoid a humanitarian disaster.”
He added, “I urge believers to take just one side in this conflict: that of peace. But not in words—in prayer, with total dedication.”
The Catholic Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, had earlier called for a worldwide day of fasting and prayer to be observed on October 17 in order to implore God for peace, justice, and reconciliation.
As the conflict persists, the United Nations has reported a devastating toll, with over 4,200 lives lost and more than a million people displaced in just 10 days.
The situation further escalated with an explosion at the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza City, leading to the tragic loss of many lives. While Hamas blamed Israel, the Israeli government has denied responsibility, pointing instead to Hamas.
The Middle East has witnessed a surge of anger and condemnation, with calls for protests and even a proposed “day of rage.”
In his address, Pope Francis cried out about “the possible widening of the conflict.” He noted that it is “disturbing while so many war fronts are already open in the world. May weapons be silenced, and let us heed the cry for peace of the poor, the people, and the children.”
He concluded by saying, “Brothers and sisters, war does not solve any problem. It sows only death and destruction, foments hate, and proliferates revenge. It cancels out the future.”