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Pope appeals for peace in Syria, prays for the conversion of the violent

Catholic World News - May 25, 2014

Pope Francis concluded the first day of his three-day pilgrimage to the Holy Land by meeting with refugees and young people with disabilities in the Latin church in Bethany beyond the Jordan, the site of Jesus’ baptism.

Christ’s baptism, Pope Francis began, manifests his humble love by which he seeks to heal the wounds of humanity. Referring to the wounds of today’s world, Pope Francis turned to the Syrian conflict, which has led millions to flee their homes. The root cause of this evil is “the hatred and greed for money” of those involved in the manufacture and sale of weapons.

After praying for the conversion of “these criminals, these poor people,” Pope Francis thanked Jordan for hosting so many Syrian and Iraqi refugees-- there are over two million refugees in the nation of 6.5 million-- and thanked all who assist the refugees. The Pope appealed for increased international aid to assist Jordan in aiding the refugees and for peace in Syria, calling for “dialogue and moderation, compassion for the suffering, the search for a political solution.”

The Pope asked those present to pray for peace, joining to their prayers the offering of their daily work. He concluded by praying for the conversion of the violent and for those who manufacture and sell weapons, and by praying for the strengthening of peacemakers.

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