Pope appeals for peace in Holy Land, Middle East


VATICAN CITY: on Wednesday condemned the killing of near the, saying the deaths would only lead to more violence, and appealed for dialogue to bring justice and peace to the Middle East. "War begets war, violence begets violence".

Pope Francis Wednesday expressed concern over escalating violence in the Middle East after the Israeli army killed at least 60 Palestinians in Gaza while protesting opening the U.S. embassy in occupied Jerusalem.

The pope called on the worldwide community to renew their commitment to ensure that dialogue, justice and peace prevail.

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Monday's demonstration had coincided with Israel's 70th anniversary - an event Palestinians refer to as "The Catastrophe" - and the relocation of Washington's Israel embassy to Jerusalem, which also took place Monday. He then recited the Hail Mary, inviting all to join him in praying to Mary, Queen of Peace.

To "put on Christ", as St. Paul explains in his letter to the Colossians, is to cultivate the virtues of "heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another ..."

Pope Francis also explained that the baptismal candle reminds us that the Light of the World is Jesus Christ, "who, having risen from the dead, has conquered the darkness of evil".

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"To always walk as children of light, persevering in faith", as it says in the Rite of Christian initiation of adults, is the Christian vocation, the pope said.

The Pope noted that right from the first centuries of Christianity, it became a tradition to dress those who had received the waters of Baptism in a new, white clothes to symbolise the new and transfigured life received through Christ and the Holy Spirit.

Pope Francis concluded his catechesis with the words of his recent Apostolic Exhortation "Rejoice and Be Glad", urging his listeners to let the grace of Baptism bear fruit in their lives.

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