Faced with the conflict in the Middle East and in the world, the Chapel of perpetual worship of the Milk Grotto in Bethlehem is one of the international centers of prayer for peace.
Silence during adoration can communicate a message. In the chapel of perpetual adoration, prayers have a specific intention: peace and reconciliation among peoples. This place of prayer is located inside the Milk Grotto, in the city of Bethlehem and is part of the project “Twelve stars on the crown of the Virgin Mary, Queen of Peace”. Its purpose is to create twelve international centers of continuous prayer in different places of conflict around the world.
President of the Queen of Peace Community
“I believe that the only way we can have peace in the Middle East and in the whole world is through peace in our hearts, through many actions and prayers by the people who are involved in the peacebuilding process. Here, the nuns pray for Syria and other places of conflict every day. People participation in this movement is important! We invite everyone to come here and we encourage the pilgrims who come to Bethlehem, to visit this chapel in particular and to pray for peace.”
Presently, with the eyes of the world upon the war in Syria, especially in the Middle East, the request for prayer for peace is even more timely and fits into a prayer schedule. An example was the recent invitation by Pope Francis, addressed to Christians and non-Christians, to a special Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace on February 23rd: “24 hours for the Lord”, on March 9th and March 10th . This initiative, also proposed by the Holy Father, has been taking place every year since 2014, on the Friday and the Saturday preceding the fourth Sunday of Lent.
In addition to this chapel in Bethlehem, where the Perpetual Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament are present in the Eucharistic adoration, there are other chapels involved in the project in Kazakhstan, in Bosnia Herzegovina, in the Ivory Coast, in South Korea and in the Philippines. Each one of these chapels houses a tabernacle created by the team of the Polish artist, Mariusz Drapikowski, since art and beauty bring the faithful closer to the Blessed Sacrament.
President of the Executive Design Team
“We want peace to reign, first of all, in our hearts and in the societies in which we live, and then we hope it spreads throughout the world. God can give us peace, we just need to ask Him in a sincere and fervent way. And beauty, which favors prayer, causes our hearts to beat at the same pace, in this place that invites us to implore the peace of God “.
The prayer intentions include the resolution of the conflict between Palestine and Israel and unity among the different religions. For men of good will, communion is absolutely possible.
Br. FRANCISZEK WIATER, ofm
St. John in the Desert Monastery – Ain Karem
“We are here in Bethlehem, at Jesus’ birthplace. It is the place where the angels announced peace and in which God desires to give peace to mankind. Here, in the Middle East, we can see that different states and nations want to establish peace, each in its own way. Anxiety has pervaded the human heart with original sin. For this reason, I am very happy that so many people of good will wish for peace. We want to establish it, knowing that only God can do it through us.”