VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Here is the CNS translation of the prayer for peace Pope Francis recited at his weekly general audience March 16. The prayer was composed by Archbishop Domenico Battaglia of Naples.
Forgive us for the war, Lord.
Lord Jesus, son of God, have mercy on us sinners.
Lord Jesus, born under the bombs of Kyiv, have mercy on us.
Lord Jesus, dead in the arms of a mother in Kharkiv, have mercy on us.
Lord Jesus, in the 20-year-olds sent to the frontline, have mercy on us.
Lord Jesus, who continues to see hands armed with weapons under the shadow of the cross, forgive us, Lord.
Forgive us if, not content with the nails with which we pierced your hand, we continue to drink from the blood of the dead torn apart by weapons.
Forgive us if these hands that you had created to protect have been turned into instruments of death.
Forgive us, Lord, if we continue to kill our brother. Forgive us, Lord, if we continue to kill our brother, if we continue like Cain to take the stones from our field to kill Abel.
Forgive us if we go out of our way to justify cruelty, if, in our pain, we legitimize the cruelty of our actions. Forgive us the war, Lord.
Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, we implore you to stop the hand of Cain, enlighten our conscience, let not our will be done, do not abandon us to our own doing. Stop us, Lord, stop us, and when you have stopped the hand of Cain, take care of him also. He is our brother.
O Lord, stop the violence. Stop us, Lord. Amen.