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


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1 Response to A papal prayer for Memorial Day

  1. Joel says:

    (It’s better late than never. This prayer is written by Rev. Dick Kozelka)

    Eternal God,
    Creator of years, of centuries,
    Lord of whatever is beyond time,
    Maker of all species and master of all history —
    How shall we speak to you
    from our smallness and inconsequence?
    Except that you have called us to worship you
    in spirit and in truth;
    You have dignified us with loves and loyalties;
    You have lifted us up with your loving kindnesses.
    Therefore we are bold to come before you without groveling
    [though we sometimes feel that low]
    and without fear
    [though we are often anxious].
    We sing with spirit and pray with courage
    because you have dignified us;
    You have redeemed us from the aimlessness
    of things’ going meaninglessly well.
    God, lift the hearts of those
    for whom this holiday is not just diversion,
    but painful memory and continued deprivation.
    Bless those whose dear ones have died
    needlessly, wastefully [as it seems]
    in accident or misadventure.
    We remember with compassion those who have died
    serving their countries
    in the futility of combat.
    There is none of us but must come to bereavement and separation,
    when all the answers we are offered
    fail the question death asks of each of us.
    We believe that you will provide for us
    as others have been provided with the fulfillment of
    “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

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