At the conclusion of the Pope’s General Audience on Wed. March 16th, he prayed the following prayer written by the Archbishop of Naples, Domenico Battaglia. The Pope began by saying, “Dear brothers and sisters, amidst the pain, brought on by this war let us pray together, and ask our Lord for forgiveness and peace.”
Forgive us for war, O Lord. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us sinners!
Lord Jesus, born in the shadows of bombs falling on Kyiv, have mercy on us!
Lord Jesus, who died in a mother’s arms in a bunker in Kharkiv, have mercy on us!
Lord Jesus, a 20-year-old sent to the frontlines, have mercy on us!
Lord Jesus, who still behold armed hands in the shadow of your Cross, have mercy on us!
Forgive us, O Lord. Forgive us, if we are not satisfied with the nails with which we crucified Your hands, as we continue to slate our thirst with the blood of those mauled by weapons.
Forgive us, if these hands which You created to tend have been transformed into instruments of death.
Forgive us, O Lord, if we continue to kill our brother;
Forgive us, if we continue like Cain to pick up the stones of our fields to kill Abel.
Forgive us, if we continue to justify our cruelty with our labours,
if we legitimize the brutality of our actions with our pain.
Forgive us for war, O Lord. Forgive us for war, O Lord.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, we implore You!
Hold fast the hand of Cain! Illumine our consciences; May our will not be done; Abandon us not to our own actions!
Stop us, O Lord, stop us! And when you have held back the hand of Cain, care also for him. He is our brother.
O Lord, put a halt to the violence!
Stop us, O Lord! Amen.