The President of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, delivered remarks to the participants in the Invocation for Peace here at the Vatican on Sunday evening. Below, please find the full text, in English, of President Abbas' prepared remarks.
In the Name of God, the Most Gracious and the Most Merciful,
Your Holiness Pope Francis
Your Excellency President Shimon Peres,
Your Beatitudes, Honorable Sheiks and Rabbis
Ladies and Gentlemen
It is indeed a great honor for us to meet again with His Holiness Pope Francis in fulfillment of his kind invitation to relish his spiritual and noble presence, and listen to his opinion and crystal wisdom, which emanate from a sound heart, vibrant conscience, as well as an elevated ethical and religious sense.
I thank your Holiness from the bottom of my heart for initiating this important gathering here in the Vatican. Simultaneously, we highly appreciate your visit to the Holy Land Palestine, and in specific to our Holy city Jerusalem and to Bethlehem; the city of love and peace, and the cradle of Jesus Christ. The visit is a sincere expression of your belief in peace and a truthful attempt to achieve peace between Palestinians and Israelis.
Oh God, we ever praise you for making Jerusalem our gate to heaven. As said in the Holy Quran,
"Glory to Him who made His servant travel by night from the sacred place of worship to the furthest place of worship, whose surroundings We have blessed." You made pilgrimage and prayer in it as the best acts the faithful can make in your praise, and made your truthful promise in your say: "Let them enter the Masjid as they did for the first time." God Almighty has spoken the truth.
O, Lord of Heaven and Earth, accept my prayer for the realization of truth, peace and justice in my country Palestine, the region, and the globe as a whole.
I beseech You, O Lord, on behalf of my people, the people of Palestine - Moslems, Christians and Samaritans- who are craving for a just peace, dignified living, and liberty, I beseech you, Oh Lord, to make prosperous and promising the future of our people, and freedom in our sovereign and independent state; Grant, O Lord, our region and its people security, safety and stability. Save our blessed city Jerusalem; the first Kiblah, the second Holy Mosque, the third of the two Holy Mosques, and the city of blessings and peace with all that surround it.
Reconciliation and peace, O Lord, are our goal. God in His Holy Book has addressed the faithful: “Make peace among you," Here we are, O God, inclined to peace. Make firm our steps and crown our efforts and endeavors with success. You are the promoter of virtue and preventer of vice, evil and aggression. You say and you are the most truthful, “And if they incline to peace, incline thou also to it, and trust in Allah. Lo! He is the Hearer, the Knower.” In the saying of Prophet Muhammad, "Spread the peace among you. "
Today, we reiterate after Jesus Christ addressing Jerusalem: "If only you had known the path of peace this day" (Luke 19:42). As well let us remember the words of Saint John Paul II when he said: "If peace is realized in Jerusalem, peace will be witnessed in the whole world" Simultaneously, in our prayer today, we repeatedly call after those who advocate peace: "Blessed are the peace makers," and "Call for the peace of Jerusalem" as came in the Holy Scriptures.
Accordingly, we ask You, O Lord, for peace in the Holy Land, Palestine, and Jerusalem together with its people. We call on you to make Palestine and Jerusalem in particular a secure land for all the believers, and a place for prayer and worship for the followers of the three monotheistic religions Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and for all those wishing to visit it as it is stated in the Holy Quran.
O Lord, You are the peace and peace emanates from You. O God of Glory and Majesty grant us security and safety, and alleviate the suffering of my people in hometown and Diaspora.
O Lord, bring comprehensive and just peace to our country and region so that our people and the peoples of the Middle East and the whole world would enjoy the fruit of peace, stability and coexistence.
We want peace for us and for our neighbors. We seek prosperity and peace of mind for ourselves and for others alike. O Lord, answer our prayers and make successful our endeavors for you are most just, most merciful, Lord of the Worlds.
By: Vatican Radio