To all the parish priests, religious and faithful,
The peace of the Lord and the love of God the Father be with you.
During these days, we are all living through a murderous and destructive war, taking place in all the Palestinian cities and villages. It reached its peak in Bethlehem, symbol of peace for the world. I know that you are already praying. I ask you to redouble your prayers, so that God Almighty might protect all the inhabitants of this land and put an end to the tragedy that is at the heart of the suffering of every human person all through these long years but especially in these past few days. All of you, those in the midst of the tribulation and those who are far away but who live these trials in deep solidarity with all your brothers and sisters, pray that God might remove this evil from us.
Pray for the leaders of this land, so that God might fill their hearts and minds with wisdom. Pray that He might prevent those who have received the order to carry out this war from losing their human dignity. Pray that they might continue to respect the dignity of God in themselves and in their adversary, against whom they have received the order to make war.
Pray for those who have lost dear ones, for the prisoners, the sick, the wounded, those who are hungry, those whose homes have been demolished.
Pray so that God might give strength to each believer to set out again on the road to peace, built on justice, so that every one might believe that peace is possible, liberated from every false image and prejudice with regard to the other.
Only God can save us. Offer the Eucharist on Sundays and each day: organize special prayers, times of adoration, fasting and other acts of penitence, so that God might have pity on us and show us His mercy.
I ask God Almighty to bless you abundantly and to fill all of our hearts with His peace and His justice. Amen.
+ Michel Sabbah, Patriarch