At 11.10 this morning, in the Clementine Hall of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father Francis received in audience the members of the Emperor Karl League for Prayers for Peace Among Nations, in Rome for the annual international assembly.
The following is the Pope’s address to those in attendance:
Address of the Holy Father
Ladies and gentlemen,
Dear brothers and sisters,
With affection I greet you and all the members of the Emperor Karl League for Prayers for Peace Among Nations. I thank the president, Msgr. Fernand Franck, for his words. Your annual assembly in Rome takes place in the context of the centenary of the initiative for peace undertaken by Pope Benedict XV and, among political leaders, supported only by Blessed Emperor Karl, with the strong desire to bring an end to the slaughter of the First World War.
The three aims of the League for Prayers underlined by your president – to seek and observe God’s will, to be committed to promoting peace and justice, to atone for the injustice of history – were, so to say, the recurrent motif of the life of Blessed Karl as a statesman, as a husband and father, and as a son of the Church. Delivering himself to God’s will, he accepted suffering and offered his own life as a sacrifice for peace, always sustained by the love and faithfulness of his wife, Servant of God Zita.
The challenges of our time require the collaboration of all men of good will and, in particular, prayer and sacrifice. I invite you, therefore, to keep your promise to take part, with prayer and personal commitment, in the many efforts of the Pope in favour of peace. Without the support of the prayer of the faithful, Peter’s Successor cannot fulfil his mission in the world. I count on you too. I entrust you to the maternal protection of Mary Most Holy and to the intercession of Blessed Emperor Karl, and heartily impart my apostolic blessing to you and your loved ones.