A papal prayer for Memorial Day

MONTECASSINO — Pope Benedict XVI yesterday paid a visit to the Polish military cemetery in Montecassino, Italy. The prayer he recited there for all those who have fallen in any war seems appropriate to share today when the United States marks Memorial Day.

Here is the English translation of the pope’s prayer from the Vatican Information Service:

O God, our Father,

endless source of life and peace,

welcome into Your merciful embrace

the fallen of the war that raged here,

the fallen of all wars that have bloodied the earth.

Grant that they may enjoy the light that does not fail,

which, in the reflection of Your splendor,

illumines the consciences of all men and women of good will.

You, Who in Your Son Jesus Christ gave suffering humanity

a glorious witness of Your love for us,

You, Who in our Lord Christ

gave us the sign of a suffering that is never in vain,

but fruitful in Your redeeming power,

grant those who yet suffer

for the blind violence of fratricidal wars

the strength of the hope that does not fade,

the dream of a definitive civilization of life,

the courage of a real and daily activity of peace.

Give us your Paraclete Spirit

so that the men of our time

may understand that the gift of peace

is much more precious than any corruptible treasure,

and that while awaiting the day that does not end

we are all called to be builders of peace for the future of Your children.

Make all Christians more convinced witnesses of life,

the inestimable gift of Your love,

You Who live and reign for ever and ever

Amen.

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