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The 100th Anniversary of the First World War

Last edited 29th July 2014

The 100th Anniversary of the First World War

Monday 28 July 2014 marks exactly one hundred years since the outbreak of the first world war - the global conflict that rocked Europe and the globe. During his Angelus address on Sunday 27 July, Pope Francis reflected on this anniversary, and once again urged us all to join in prayer for peace - particularly in the three crisis areas of the Middle East, Iraq and Ukraine.

Tomorrow (28 July) marks the one hundredth anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, which caused millions of deaths and immense destruction. This conflict, which Pope Benedict XV called a "senseless slaughter", resulted, after four long years, in a most fragile peace. Tomorrow, as we remember this tragic event, I hope that the mistakes of the past won’t be repeated, but that the lessons of history be taken into account, that the demands of peace through patient and courageous dialogue are always made to prevail.

In particular, my thoughts go out to three areas of crisis: the Middle East, Iraq and Ukraine. I ask that you continue to join me in prayer that the Lord may grant to the people and authorities of those areas the wisdom and strength needed to push ahead with the path of peace by addressing each dispute with the tenacity of dialogue and negotiation and with the force of reconciliation...


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