Pope Francis sent a letter on Sunday to the Catholic Patriarchs of the Middle East who are celebrating for the first time the regional Day of Peace.
“It is with happiness that I have accepted your invitation to join you on this special day, when each of you together with your believers celebrate the Divine Liturgy to pray to the Lord for the gift of peace in the Middle East,” the Pope’s letter, published on the Holy See’s website, read.
The Pope added that from the very beginning of his pontificate he aimed to be closer to the suffering of the Christians in the Middle East and, therefore, visited the Holy Land, then Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and, several months ago, Iraq.
The Pope also recalled his calls to the entire Church to pray and show “concrete solidarity with Syria and Lebanon, which have endured severe trials of war, social political and economic instability.”
In his letter, the Pope said that in times like these, unity is very important. He brought forth a metaphor of an oriental carpet, woven from many threads, which “only by being together, side by side, become a masterpiece.”
“If violence, envy and division can break at least one of these threads, the entire whole will be wounded and disfigured,” he added.
The Pope urged the Patriarchs of the Middle East to bring to life the “prophecy of human brotherhood” discussed at the Abu Dhabi and Najaf meetings.
The document on Human Fraternity (brotherhood) was signed by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, in 2019 as a call for world peace and coexistence.