On Memorial Day, a prayer to the Virgin Mary for peace by St. John Paul II

As we remember the fallen, let us pray for an end to the violence in the world.

Memorial Day in the United States is a day when fallen soldiers are remembered by their relatives and friends. Often it is a day for visiting cemeteries and the graves of those who died in battle.

While many died valiantly defending the innocent, their deaths remind us of the sadness of war and how God desires peace to reign in the hearts of all.

As we ponder this mystery, below is a prayer for peace composed by St. John Paul II, on the World Day of Peace in 2002.

Let us continue to pray for peace and an end to all violence in the world.

“Salve, Madre santa!”
Virgin Daughter of Zion,
how deeply must your Mother’s heart suffer for this bloodshed!

The child you embrace has a name that is dear to the peoples of biblical religion: “Jesus,” which means “God saves.” So the Archangel named him before he was conceived in your womb (cf. Lk 2,21). In the face of the newborn Messiah, we recognize the face of all your children, who suffer from being despised and exploited. We recognize especially the faces of your children, to whatever race, nation or culture they may belong.

For them, O Mary, for their future, we ask you to move hearts hardened by hatred so that they may open to love and so that revenge may finally give way to forgiveness.

Obtain for us, O Mother, that the truth of this affirmation — no peace without justice, no justice without forgiveness — be engraved on every heart. Thus the human family will be able to find the true peace, that flows from the union of justice and mercy.

Holy Mother, Mother of the Prince of Peace, help us!
Mother of Humanity and Queen of Peace, pray for us!