Below is the Vatican-provided text of the Holy Father’s introductory discourse at the ecumenical prayer for peace meeting at the seafront of the Italian city of Bari, where the Pontiff is making a brief day trip, July 7, 2018, for the encounter he convoked inviting Christian leaders and patriarchs representing Middle East Christians to reflect and pray for the region;
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Dear Brothers,
We have come as pilgrims to Bari, this window open to the Near East, carrying in our hearts our Churches, our peoples and all those living in situations of great suffering. We are saying to them, “We are close to

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