Prayer at the "Fosse Ardeatine Memorial" (2. November 2017)

PRAYER OF  HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
AT THE ARDEATINE CAVES

Thursday, 2 November 2017

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“God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob” (cf. Ex 3:6).
With this name you presented yourself to Moses,
when you revealed to him the will to free your people from slavery in Egypt.
God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob:
God who seals the covenant with man;
God who binds himself with a pact of steadfast love, for ever.
Merciful and compassionate
with each man and woman and with all people who suffer oppression.
“I have seen the affliction of my people [...] and have heard their cry [...]: I know their sufferings” (Ex 3:7).
God of faces and of names.
God of each of the 335 people slaughtered here on 24 March 1944,
whose remains rest in these graves.
You know their faces and their names.
All, even the 12 who remain unknown to us; for you no one is unknown.
God of Jesus, our Father who art in heaven.

Thanks to Him, the crucified and Risen One, we know that your name,
“God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob”,
means that you are not God of the dead but of the living (cf. Mt 22:32),
that your covenant of steadfast love is mightier than death
and is a guarantee of resurrection.

O Lord, in this place, consecrated to the memory of those who have fallen for freedom and justice, let us divest ourselves of the trappings of selfishness and indifference, and through the burning bush of this mausoleum,
in silence, may we hear your name:
“God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob”,
God of Jesus,
God of the living. Amen.