Day of Prayer for Peace (Ash Wednesday 2022)

Day of Prayer for Peace
Ash Wednesday 2022

“Nothing is lost with peace. Everything can be lost with war.” (Radio Message of Pope Pius XII, 24 August 1939)

Despite the continuous call for peace and dialogue by the international community, the heightened tensions across the Ukrainian-Russian border have unfortunately led to the decision for Russia to launch a military invasion, such that many people are already facing serious threats to their lives.

The Church reiterates in the words of Pope Pius XII on the eve of World War II, “It is by the power of sound reason, not by force of arms — in other words, it is through truth, justice and active solidarity” (Pope John XXIII “Pacem in Terris” 62) that issues between nations must be resolved, and this cannot be entrusted to force of arms which endangers God’s gift of life and deprives humans of their dignity. I sincerely hope that the political leaders will seek a solution through dialogue, such that we may all continue to live in peace in our common home and establish God’s true order.

Speaking at the end of the General Audience on Wednesday, 23rd February, when the threat of a Russian invasion was high, the Holy Father invited everyone to make 2nd March, Ash Wednesday, a Special Day of Fasting and Prayer for Peace in Ukraine.

Pope Francis appealed to everyone before “God, who is the God of peace and not of war, who is the Father of all, not just of some, who wants us to be brothers and not enemies.” His Holiness has declared this year’s Ash Wednesday to be a special day of prayer for peace, stating that “Jesus taught us that the diabolical senselessness of violence is answered with God’s weapons, with prayer and fasting.”

In response to the call of the Holy Father, let us all pray for peace, especially in Ukraine, as we observe “fasting and abstinence” in our obligation to perform penance in accordance with the liturgical rules on Ash Wednesday, 2nd March.

Moreover, I call upon your cooperation, brothers and sisters in the Archdiocese of Tokyo, to offer the Sunday Mass either on 27th February or 6th March for peace, praying especially for the situation in Ukraine according to the intentions of the Holy Father.

Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi, SVD
Archbishop of Tokyo