When the Vicar of Christ visited the United States he made a special visit to "Ground Zero", a truly American site of prayer and reflection and he prayed. The words of that beautiful prayer are as stirring today as they were on April 20, 2008. In memory of all those who died, those who still suffer, those who still grieve their loss and for a Nation which today reflects on the event and what it means for the future,we offer the Pope's Prayer:
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
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 XI--Prayer at Ground Zero
New York, 20 April 2008