Says It Transforms Hearts

The Holy Father said this today at the end of the general audience, addressing the young people who had participated in the meeting organized by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

The meeting marked the 20th anniversary of the first World Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi, called by Pope John Paul II. It began on Nov. 4 in Assisi and ended in Rome today.

In his greeting in English, Benedict XVI thanked "the various religious leaders who enabled them to take part in this event, and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue which organized it."

"Dear young friends, our world urgently needs peace!" the Holy Father said.

"The Assisi meeting emphasized the power of prayer in building peace," the Pope added.

The Pontiff continued: "Genuine prayer transforms hearts, opens us to dialogue, understanding and reconciliation, and breaks down the walls erected by violence, hatred and revenge."

Benedict XVI encouraged the young people present to return to their own communities "as witnesses to 'the spirit of Assisi,' messengers of that peace which is God's gracious gift, and living signs of hope for our world."


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