Pope Blesses Ground Zero & Prays With Victim's Families
Pope Benedict XVI kneeled and prayed silently at Ground Zero today.
The Prayer of Pope Benedict XVI at Ground Zero
O God of love, compassion, and healing,
look on us, people of many different faiths and traditions,
who gather today at this site,
the scene of incredible violence and pain.
We ask you in your goodness
to give eternal light and peace
to all who died here —
the heroic first-responders:
our fire fighters, police officers,
emergency service workers, and Port Authority personnel,
along with all the innocent men and women
who were victims of this tragedy
simply because their work or service
brought them here on September 11, 2001.
We ask you, in your compassion
to bring healing to those
who, because of their presence here that day,
suffer from injuries and illness.
Heal, too, the pain of still-grieving families
and all who lost loved ones in this tragedy.
Give them strength to continue their lives with courage and hope.
We are mindful as well
of those who suffered death, injury, and loss
on the same day at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Our hearts are one with theirs
as our prayer embraces their pain and suffering.
God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world:
peace in the hearts of all men and women
and peace among the nations of the earth.
Turn to your way of love
those whose hearts and minds
are consumed with hatred.
God of understanding,
overwhelmed by the magnitude of this tragedy,
we seek your light and guidance
as we confront such terrible events.
Grant that those whose lives were spared
may live so that the lives lost here
may not have been lost in vain.
Comfort and console us,
strengthen us in hope,
and give us the wisdom and courage
to work tirelessly for a world
where true peace and love reign
among nations and in the hearts of all.
Pope Benedict XVI (center L), and the Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Edward Egan (center R), walk to Ground Zero in New York April 20, 2008. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria)
The Pope yesterday for the first time talked about his youth and the Nazi regime, via BBC:
The Pope told the crowd his own years as a teenager had been “marred by a sinister regime that thought it had all the answers”.
“Its influence grew, infiltrating schools and civic bodies, as well as politics and even religion, before it was fully recognised for the monster it was,” he said.
“It banished God and thus became impervious to anything true and good.
“Let us thank God that so many people of your generation are able to enjoy the liberties which have arisen from the extension of democracy and respect for human rights.”