On a Memorial Day like this, in the United States today is a day set apart when fallen soldiers are remembered by their relatives and friends.

Most often, today is a day for visiting cemeteries and the graves of those who died in battle.

As many died valiantly defending the innocent, their deaths call to our mind the sadness of war and how God wishes peace to reign in the hearts of all.

As we ponder on this mystery, here’s a prayer for peace that’s composed by St. John Paul II, on the World Day of Peace in 2002.

Let us move ahead in praying for peace and putting an end to all violence in the world.
“Salve, Madre santa!”
Virgin Daughter of Zion, how deeply must your Mother’s heart suffer for this bloodshed!

The child you embrace has a name that is so dear to the peoples of biblical religion: “Jesus,” which means “God saves.” So the Archangel named him before he was conceived in your womb (cf. Lk 2,21).

In the face of the newborn Messiah, we do recognize the face of all your children, who suffer from being despised and exploited. We therefore in a special way recognize the faces of your children, no matter the race, nation or culture they may belong.

For them, O Mary, for their future, we ask you to move hearts which are hardened by hatred so that they may open to love and so that revenge may finally give way to forgiveness.

Obtain for us, O Mother, that the truth of this affirmation (no peace without justice, no justice without forgiveness) be inscribed in every heart. Therefore, the human family will be able to find the true peace, which flows from the union of justice and mercy.

Dear Holy Mother, Mother of the Prince of Peace, help us!
Mother of Humanity and Queen of Peace, pray for us!

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