Following is a prayer written especially for the conference by Austrian nonviolence activist and theologian Hildegard Goss-Mayr. Prayers from Archbishop Stephen Fumio Hamao and Pope St. John Paul II are also included. Also in français, italiano, español, Croatian and Deutsch. A PDF flyer of the prayer (in English) is attached here.
Holy Spirit, our source of light and strength, we thank you for having inspired the call to peace-makers from all over the world to meet in the dramatic situation of humanity to reconsider our responsibility, to deepen and promote the liberating and healing nonviolence of Jesus.
Merciful God, our Father and Mother, you sent your Son Jesus, our Brother, to reveal through his life and teaching your divine, self-giving Love and so incarnate in our world the power of nonviolence, able to overcome ALL forms of violence and to reconcile humanity in justice and peace.
We confess that for centuries our Church, people of God, has betrayed this central message of the Gospel many times and participated in wars, persecution, oppression, exploitation and discrimination.
Holy Spirit, as we meet as peacemakers, we count on your light and your strength to help revive in the Theology of Peace the nonviolent message of Jesus in which there is no place for violence and to offer to all Christians the arms of peacemaking, pardon and reconciliation.
Holy Spirit, we trust in your light and strength that this Conference may mark a new step for our Church, on its way to becoming a Church of Peace, in the spirit of our Brother Jesus and so respond to the cry of humanity for life in dignity and peace.
Hildegard Goss-Mayr, March 2016, written for the Conference
Let us pray that contemplating Jesus, our Lord and our Peace, Christians will be able to repent of the words and attitudes caused by pride, by hatred, by the desire to dominate others, by enmity towards members of other religions and towards the weakest groups in society, such as immigrants and itinerants.
Archbishop Stephen Fumio Hamao
Lord of the world, Father of all, through your Son you asked us to love our enemies, to do good to those who hate us and to pray for those who persecute us. Yet Christians have often denied the Gospel; yielding to a mentality of power, they have violated the rights of ethnic groups and peoples, and shown contempt for their cultures and religious traditions: be patient and merciful towards us, and grant us your forgiveness! We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Pope St. John Paul II
Photo from San Damiano near Assisi, Italy by Judy Coode