Pope Francis declares Ash Wednesday a Day of Prayer for fasting & peace, prays for peace in Ukraine

Published February 28, 2022, 10:41 AM

by Christina Hermoso

The Holy Father Pope Francis has declared March 2, Ash Wednesday as a Day of Prayer for fasting and peace as he urged the faithful to pray for peace in Ukraine.

Pope Francis (Manila Bulletin file photo)

His Holiness made the appeal at his public audience in the Vatican on Feb. 23 said a report by the Catholic News Agency.

“I would like to appeal to everyone, believers and non-believers alike. Jesus taught us that the diabolical evil of violence is answered with the weapons of God, with prayer and fasting,” Pope Francis said.

“I invite everyone to make next March 2, Ash Wednesday, a day of fasting for peace. I encourage believers in a special way to devote themselves intensely to prayer and fasting on that day. May the Queen of Peace preserve the world from the madness of war,” the Pontiff stressed.

Roman Catholics will observe the 40-day Season of Lent on March 2, Ash Wednesday. The observance culminates in April with the commemoration of the Holy Week.

“Despite the diplomatic efforts over the past few weeks, increasingly alarming scenarios are opening up. Like me, many people throughout the world are feeling anguish and concern. Once again the peace of all is threatened by partisan interests. I would like all those who have the political responsibility to make a serious examination of conscience before God, who is the God of peace and not of war . He wants us to be brothers and not enemies. I pray that all parties involved will refrain from any action that will cause even more suffering for people, destabilizing coexistence among nations and undermining international law,” Pope Francis said in his public address.

In January, Pope Francis presided over a worldwide day of prayer for peace in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Balanga Bishop Rupert C. Santos, bishop promoter of Stella Maris Philippines, expressed oneness with the Holy Father for peace in Ukraine. Bishop Santos said they will be offering holy masses in his diocese for the restoration of peace in Ukraine.