Pope Francis asks Immaculate Virgin Mary to intercede for U.S. after Capitol violence

Vatican City (CNA) - Pope Francis prayed Jan. 10 for the United States, asking the Immaculate Virgin Mary to help foster a “culture of encounter” after the recent violence at the U.S. Capitol Building.

Pope Francis
Vatican News file photo

“I extend an affectionate greeting to the people of the United States of America, shaken by the recent siege of Congress. I pray for those who lost their lives, five lost in those dramatic moments,” Pope Francis said after his Jan 10 Angelus address.

“I reaffirm that violence is always self-destructive. Nothing is gained with violence, and so much is lost. I urge the authority of the state and the entire population to maintain a high sense of responsibility in order to calm the spirits, promote national reconciliation and protect the democratic values rooted in American society,” the pope said.

In the midday Marian prayer, broadcast live from the library of the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace, Pope Francis invoked the intercession of the Immaculate Conception, who was proclaimed patroness of the United States in 1846.

“May the Immaculate Virgin, Patroness of the United States of America, help to keep alive the culture of encounter, the culture of care, as the main way to build the common good together,” the pope said.

‘I am praying for the United States of America, shaken by the recent attack on Congress. I pray for those who lost their life. Violence is always self-destructive. I urge everyone to promote a culture of encounter and of care to construct the common good.’

Francis’ comments came four days after protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol Building Jan. 6 as Congress was in the process of certifying the 2020 presidential election results, leading to the evacuation of lawmakers and the deadly shooting of one protester by law enforcement. A U.S. Capitol police officer also died from injuries sustained during the attack, and three other protesters died due to medical emergencies.