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Pope Francis consecrates war-torn world to Virgin Mary in Eucharistic prayer vigil

Pope Francis invokes the Virgin Mary as Queen of Peace and Mother of Mercy at a prayer vigil for peace in St. Peter’s Basilica, Friday, Oct. 27. / Credit: Courtney Mares

Vatican City, Oct 27, 2023 / 13:19 pm (CNA).

Pope Francis consecrated the Church and the world to the Blessed Virgin Mary in a Eucharistic adoration prayer vigil for peace in St. Peter’s Basilica on Friday, Oct. 27, amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war in the Holy Land.

Invoking the Virgin Mary as the Queen of Peace and Mother of Mercy, Pope Francis implored her to “intercede for our world in danger and turmoil” and to “convert those who fuel and foment conflicts.”

“Mother of God and Our Mother, we come before you and we seek refuge in your Immaculate Heart,” the pope prayed.

“To you we entrust and consecrate our lives and every fiber of our being, all that we possess and all that we are, forever. To you we consecrate the Church, so that in her witness to the love of Jesus before the world, she may be a sign of harmony and an instrument of peace. To you we consecrate our world, especially those countries and regions at war.”

Pope Francis consecrated the Church and the world to the Blessed Virgin Mary in a Eucharistic adoration prayer vigil for peace in St. Peter’s Basilica on Friday, Oct. 27, amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war in the Holy Land. Credit: Courtney Mares

The prayer was the culmination of a worldwide day of fasting, prayer, and penance for peace in the world called for by the pope amid the escalating war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Pope Francis presided over the prayer of the sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary, the Litany of Loreto, and Exposition and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. 

During Eucharistic adoration, the congregation asked the Lord Jesus to console those who suffer, enlighten those who govern, break the plots of war, dissolve hatred, strengthen hope, reconcile hearts, protect the poor, and welcome those who have died, praying, “Da pacem Domine in diebus nostris,” meaning “Grant peace, O Lord, in our time.”

Pope Francis spoke from a chair off to the side from the main altar of the basilica. He reflected on the Virgin Mary’s humility and strength during her son’s crucifixion: “When on Calvary a sword pierced your heart … you kept alive the hope of Easter through the night of sorrow.” 

“Now, Mother, once more take the initiative for us, in these times rent by conflicts and laid waste by the fire of arms,” he said. “Teach us to cherish and care for life — each and every human life — and to repudiate the folly of war, which sows death and eliminates the future.”

Pope Francis did not mention Israel, Gaza, or the Holy Land by name in his prayer, but asked the Virgin Mary to “grant that glimmers of light illuminate the dark night of conflict.”

“Dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, inspire the leaders of nations to seek the paths of peace. Queen of all peoples, reconcile your children, seduced by evil, blinded by power and hate,” he said. “Mother, Queen of Peace, pour forth into our hearts God’s gift of harmony.”

After the congregation sang the Eucharistic hymn, “Tantum Ergo” and the Divine Praises, the Blessed Sacrament was placed back in the Tabernacle and the choir sang Psalm 117: “Praise the Lord, all you nations. Extol him, all you peoples. His mercy for us is strong; the faithfulness of the Lord is forever.” 

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