The calm of Easter Sunday was shattered by gruesome bombings in Sri Lankan churches and hotels that killed at least 207 people and wounded more than 450 others. Of the hundreds of people killed, about 30 were foreigners. Two Catholic churches, one Evangelical church, and four hotels were targeted, killing worshippers and hotel guests in the process.
Pope Francis lamented the Easter Sunday attacks. “I wish to express my heartfelt closeness to the Christian community of Sri Lanka, wounded as it was gathered in prayer, and to all the victims of such cruel violence.” The Holy Father said the multiple attacks on churches and hotels around Sri Lanka had wrought grief and sorrow. “I entrust to the Lord all those who have tragically perished, ” he said, “and I pray for the injured and all those who suffer as a result of this tragic event.”
In solidarity with Pope Francis, let us pray for the people of Sri Lanka:
Almighty God, we mourn the horrific loss of life; for the adults and children whose lives were sacrificed in a deadly act of violence, and for the injured who will bear the great physical and emotional burdens of violence and hatred.
We remember the dead and especially the people of Sri Lanka and all those whose lives have been changed forever. On this most Holy day, may the people of Sri Lanka turn their prayers into actions of peace, love, and understanding and may dialogue and shared humanity replace the violence, horror, and hatred they have experienced.
God of justice and peace. We pray for your peace and your mercy in the midst of great suffering. By the strength of your mighty arm save your people and your Holy Church from evil oppression and hear the supplications of all who call to you in sorrow and affliction.
Hail Mary Hail Mary, full of grace. Our Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
Thank you to Sandra Talarico for preparing our prayer.