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A day to pray that any kind of Holocaust never happens again


Vatican (Agencies): After his Angelus prayer on January 27, the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, Pope Benedict XVI said, “The memory of this immense tragedy, which above all struck so harshly the Jewish people, must represent for everyone a constant warning so that the horrors of the past are not repeated, so that every form of hatred and racism is overcome, and that respect for, and dignity of, every human person is encouraged.”

Speaking to around 30,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Benedict also expressed his closeness to sufferers of Hansen’s disease on the occasion of World Leprosy Day. He said, “I … encourage researchers, health professionals and volunteers, particularly those who are part of Catholic organisations and the Association of Friends of Raoul Follereau. I invoke the spiritual support of St. Damien de Veuster and St. Marianna Cope, who gave their lives for those suffering from leprosy.” 

The pope also encouraged prayers for peace in the Middle East in observance of the fifth World Day of Prayer for Peace in the Holy Land.

He said, “This Sunday also marks a special day of prayer for peace in the Holy Land.”

The global event, an initiative of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, is now in its fifth year and is a 24-hour continuum of prayer, in more than 3,000 cities, for peace in the region. 

Pope Benedict expressed his closeness to those participating in the initiative and said, “I thank all those who are promoting it in many parts of the world and I greet in particular those who are present here.”


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