· Vatican City ·

In Gaza the story of a baby born as her mother dies of injuries after bombing raid

Women weavers of peace

 Women weavers of peace  ING-004
26 January 2024

“Whosoever harms a single woman profanes God”, Pope Francis said at the homily for Holy Mass on 1 January, World Day of Peace.

I thought about these words as I was reading a recent United Nations report: two women per hour have been killed in Gaza since 7 October, and women and children make up 70 percent of the dead.

On Saturday, a pregnant woman was gravely injured during a bombing raid. The doctors were able to save the daughter as her mother was dying. I thought back to the Pope’s words: “…profanes God” because he was “born of a woman”. Mary Most Holy was the link between earth and heaven. She listened to and welcomed God’s will, accepted its consequences, and was a caring, discreet and suffering mother. What an example and model for all women, believers and non-believers alike, mothers and consecrated women!

The Holy Father often reminds us to respect the role of women, both in the Church and in civil society. I am convinced that with their inner strength and their dedication to others, women are indispensable for building peace in the world. In women, I see the determination of those who are strangers to selfishness, those who care for all aspects of life, those who wisely choose the good in order to improve themselves and others. We have to let ourselves be guided by the hearts of mothers and by women who look at humanity with attentive and silent gazes, who offer their suffering for the good of others, who sense their needs and attend to them with complete dedication. By the grace of God, I had my mother as an example of a woman of faith, who in silence and with sacrifice, dedicated her life to her children, to her family and to the poor.

Women are capable of being weavers of peace. They do not give in to evil. They try to heal and protect and they know how to manage resources and relationships. They never fail to provide true love, the kind that does not die from indifference or forgetfulness. That love that the Lord will give to that girl in Gaza, born already an orphan, but with her strength drawn from the womb of her mother, who welcomed and loved her before seeing her and holding her in her arms. Let us not forget these innocent victims, the dead and the survivors. Let us not forget the love of mothers and the strength of women. Let us respect, protect and defend the dignity of women, in order to make this humanity better and to defeat hatred and violence.

*  Vicar of the Custody of the Holy Land

Fr Ibrahim Faltas, ofm*