Saying he was giving them a “mission,”  Pope Francis has asked religious sisters from Bethlehem and the Middle East to pray for peace in the region and for two new Palestinian saints. 19th century Sister Miriam of Jesus Crucified Baouardy and Sister Marie-Alphonsine Ghattas were canonized in a big outdoor Mass presided by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s square on Sunday. 

Many of the Carmelite and Rosary sisters who had attended the canonization had flown into Rome from Jordan – on the same plane as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas who was also present as the two Palestinian religious were made saints.   In receiving the visiting nuns in the Clementine Hall in the Apostolic Palace Monday, Pope Francis said the president had told him the flight was "full of sisters!"  “Poor pilot,” the Pope chuckled.

The Pope urged the nuns to pray for an end to “this interminable” conflict in the Holy Land so that “there will be peace” between Israelis and Palestinians.

 He also called for prayers for “persecuted Christians, kicked out of their homes, from the land” and decried what he called “persecution with white gloves – persecution and ‘white terrorism’ – also ‘white gloved terrorism’.”  “It is veiled, but it happens!”

Before reciting the Hail Mary together with the sisters from the Middle East, Francis urged them to “Pray a lot for peace.”


Source: Vatican Radio