In response to the shocking news of the recent nefarious attack on Ukraine by Russian and separatist forces, Pope Francis invites us all “believers and nonbelievers alike” on March 2nd, Ash Wednesday, to fast and pray for peace in Ukraine.

“I encourage believers in a special way to dedicate themselves intensely to prayer and fasting on that day. May the Queen of Peace preserve the world from the madness of war,” (Pope Francis).

The Pope urgently appealed for all those “with political responsibility to examine their consciences seriously before God, who is the God of peace and not of war, who is the Father of all, not just of some, who wants us to be brothers and not enemies.”

Let us also pray for world leaders and those in key decision-making positions to be filled with the Spirit of peace.

Prayer for Peace
Goodness is stronger than evil.
Love is stronger than hate.
Light is stronger than darkness.
Life is stronger than death.
Victory is ours through Him who loves us.

Desmond Tutu

A Christian Prayer for Peace in Our Time
O God, author and giver of peace,
in whose image and likeness each of us has been created
with a human dignity worthy of respect on earth
and destined for eternal glory,
Listen to the cry that rises from every corner of this fragile earth,
from our human family torn by violent conflict:

Give peace in our time, O good and gracious God,
that peace which, as your son Jesus Christ told us
and as we have experienced in these days,
is a peace which the world cannot give.

To world leaders grant the wisdom
to see beyond the boundaries of race, religion, and nation
to that common humanity that makes us all your children
and brothers and sisters to one another.

To those who have taken up arms in anger or revenge
or even in the cause of justice
grant the grace of conversion to the path of peaceful dialogue
and constructive collaboration.

To the innocent who live in the shadow of war and terror,
especially the frightened children,
be a shelter and strength, their haven and hope.

And to those who have already lost their lives
as victims of human cruelty and chemical warfare,
open wide your arms and enfold them all
in the embrace of your compassion, healing, and everlasting life.

Grant this through Jesus Christ, your son, our Lord.
Mary, Mother of all and Queen of peace, pray for us.
– Peter J. Scagnelli

Peace is…

Peace is the resulting action on an agreement to end a war.
Peace is the mutual laying down of weapons.
Peace is the worldwide cessation of armament production.
Peace is the reconciliation between adversaries.
Peace is the change of hearts and minds of people who wage war.
Peace is the smile of the refugee housed following exile from home.
Peace is the satisfaction in the face of the hungry child just fed.
Peace is the return to childhood of a boy soldier.
Peace is the respect for women and their equal rights as human beings.
Peace is the just, merciful and compassionate use of power by the powerful.
Peace is the empowerment of disadvantaged and marginalised people.
Peace is the healing arrived at through truth and reconciliation commissions.
Peace is the mutual respect of people of all faiths and none.
Help us, Lord, to continue to strive for peace in all of its forms.

Trevor Stockton/CAFOD