(LifeSiteNews) — The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem called for prayer and fasting for peace as the Israel-Hamas war continues.
Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa wrote in his Oct. 11 message that “in this time of sorrow and dismay, we do not want to remain helpless.”
“On behalf of all the Ordinaries of the Holy Land, I invite all parishes and religious communities to a day of fasting and prayer for peace and reconciliation,” Cardinal Pizzaballa wrote.
“We ask that on Tuesday, October 17, everyone hold a day of fasting, abstinence, and prayer. Let us organize prayer times with Eucharistic adoration and with the recitation of the Rosary to Our Blessed Virgin Mary,” he wrote. “Although most probably in many parts of our dioceses circumstances will not permit large gatherings, it is possible to organize simple and sober common moments of prayer in parishes, religious communities, and families.”
It is important to pray and fast during this time of “political and military crisis” and “unprecedented violence.”
“The hatred, which we have unfortunately already been experiencing for too long, will increase even more, and the ensuing spiral of violence will create more destruction,” he wrote, explaining his call for prayer and fasting. “Everything seems to speak of death.”
He noted that through prayer and fasting “we all come together despite everything, and unite collectively in prayer, to deliver to God the Father our thirst for peace, justice, and reconciliation.”
The request follows two prior statements from the patriarchate as well as the heads of churches in Jerusalem condemning the violence and calling for the international community to help bring about peace.
Fight continues in the Israel-Hamas war that officially began Saturday after Hamas attacked Israelis at a music festival and on the streets in a surprise ambush. Israel subsequently declared war on the Islamic terrorist group.
“The Israeli military said more than 1,200 people, including 155 soldiers, have died in Israel since then,” the Associated Press reported Wednesday. “In Gaza, 1,055 people have been killed, including 260 children and 230 women, according to authorities there. Israel says hundreds of Hamas fighters are among them. Thousands have been wounded on both sides.”