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English cardinal commemorates World War I centenary

August 05, 2014

Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster offered a Requiem Mass for the fallen of the First World War on August 4, the centenary of the United Kingdom’s entry into the war.

“No one could have imagined that in the following four years over ten million soldiers would have been killed as well as many millions of civilians,” he preached. “It is for them all that we pray this evening, in this Requiem Mass. We include in our prayers the two million German soldiers who died. We give special place to the million soldiers who lost their lives in the ranks of the British forces. Among those ranks were Australians, Canadians, South Africans, New Zealanders and Indians, not forgetting the numbers of Irish men who volunteered to fight, too.”

Cardinal Nichols continued:

This evening we salute their sacrifice. We commemorate their heroism, their loyalty, their bravery often in utterly impossible circumstances of horror and helplessness. And, in our Catholic tradition, we pray for them. We pray for the repose of their souls in the peaceful presence of God and we pray for the coming of that final resurrection when they will rise again, from every horrendous grave, to live for ever in the glorious presence of God. This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church. We are proud to profess it, especially on this solemn day.


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