A prayer meeting at the Vatican with Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will take place in the afternoon of June 8, Pentecost Sunday, the Vatican has announced.
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi confirmed this afternoon the date of the "Prayer for Peace", first announced by Pope Francis during his May 24-26 Holy Land pilgrimage.
In a short statement, Father Lombardi said the date had been "accepted by both Israel and Palestine". It's believed the Sunday meeting will take place at the Pope's Casa Santa Martha residence but this hasn't been confirmed.
During his visit to the Holy Land, the Holy Father spontaneously invited the two presidents to come to the Vatican to pray for peace. He told reporters on his return from the Holy Land that he had originally hoped the meeting would take place during his visit, but that logistically it wasn't possible.
The Pope, who called the worldwide Church to pray for peace in Syria last September, is keen to emphasise the power of prayer in helping to resolve international disputes.