Archdiocese of Chicago

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Pray for Peace

On September 1, 1939, Nazi Germany attacked Poland from the west without a declaration of war, and the Second World War began.  Two weeks later, the Soviet Union attacked Poland from the east, although the two countries had signed a mutual non-aggression pact in 1932.  A betrayed Poland was conquered, and the world was at war.

At the end of August, 1939, Pope Pius XII used Vatican Radio to appeal to the whole world: “Nothing will be lost by peace; everything can be lost by war.”  His words were ignored, but they were prophetic.

At every Mass, we pray for peace; but the world is still involved in wars both great and small.  The United States had few years without military action somewhere during the last century, and we enter this century at war again.  During the Second World War, when I was a very little boy, my mother often took me to the Basilica of Our Lady of Sorrows on Jackson Boulevard to make the Sorrowful Mother Novena for peace.  The Blessed Virgin Mary told the children at Fatima to pray the rosary for peace during the First World War.  Her message still needs to be taken to heart.

Francis Cardinal George, OMI

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