The Holy Father has asked that all believers observe a Day of Fasting for Peace on March 2, 2022, Ash Wednesday. On this day that we abstain from meat and fast as our Lenten season begins, Pope Francis encourages believers and non-believers alike “in a special way to dedicate themselves intensely to prayer and fasting on that day.”
This request was made in response to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine which the world has watched unfold in recent weeks.
“My heart aches greatly at the worsening situation in Ukraine. Despite the diplomatic efforts of the last few weeks, increasingly alarming scenarios are opening up. Like me, many people all over the world are feeling anguish and concern. Once again the peace of all is threatened by partisan interests,” said Pope Francis.
He called on those responsible to consider the ramifications of their actions, saying, ”I would like to appeal to those with political responsibility to examine their consciences seriously before God, who is the God of peace and not of war … I pray that all the parties involved refrain from any action that would cause even more suffering to the people, destabilising coexistence between nations and bringing international law into disrepute.”
Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, echoed the Pope’s words on Thursday as Russia launched military operations and airstrikes across Ukraine.
“This appeal has taken on dramatic urgency following the beginning of Russian military operations in Ukrainian territory. The tragic scenarios that everyone feared are becoming a reality. Yet there is still time for goodwill, there is still room for negotiation, there is still a place for the exercise of wisdom that can prevent the predominance of partisan interest, safeguard the legitimate aspirations of everyone, and spare the world from the folly and horrors of war,” he said.
This coming Wednesday, March 2, join Catholics and people of good will across the world in offering your prayer and fasting for peace in Ukraine and the entire world.
“Jesus taught us that the diabolical senselessness of violence is answered with God’s weapons, with prayer and fasting. … May the Queen of Peace preserve the world from the madness of war,” said Pope Francis.
Stay tuned to Relevant Radio for updates on the situation in Ukraine, and pray.