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"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God" (Matthew 5:9)
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In view of the Third International Day of Intercession for Peace in the Holy Land, which will be held Jan. 29-30, 2011, we wish to send our greeting and encouragement to support your moment of confident prayer.
The Church has always made an effort to spread the message of peace, strengthened also by the words that the Risen One addressed to the disciples gathered in the Cenacle: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you" (John 14:27). Thus, it has committed itself in the different historical stages to support all those initiatives and activities that could sensitize every man and woman of good will to become not only heralds, but also agents of peace. It did so especially in those regions of the world in which there was suffering because of injustice, violence and persecutions. Today, the very important topic of peace and the search for it are more timely than ever. While we are again grateful to the Lord for the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops that ended recently, our thought goes today to the Holy Land, blessed by God with wonderful events of the history of Salvation, especially the Incarnation of the Word in Jesus Christ.
Benedict XVI's appeal in the homily during the Holy Mass to close the synod cannot leave us indifferent. As the Holy Father remarked, "the cry of the poor and the oppressed finds an immediate echo in God, who wishes to intervene to open a way out, to restore a future of liberty, an horizon of hope."
The Third International Day of Intercession for Peace in the Holy Land, sponsored by this pontifical council, is born from the desire to be involved concretely and strongly, living also a day of prayer.
This day gathers different associations, brothers and sisters of every region, and solicits them to make their voice heard in the whole world saying: We want peace, reconciliation and unity, beginning in Jerusalem!
We hope that this initiative, known already by many, will again be more appreciated and diffused, as the prayerful contribution of believers of the whole world in support of the Civilization of Love.
May Mary, Regina Pacis, obtain the blessing of God on all those who support and promote this day, and on all those who seek peace with a sincere heart!
Rome, Nov. 16, 2010
Cardinal Peter Turkson, president
Bishop Mario Toso, secretary
[Translation by ZENIT]