Pope John Paul II

Dialogika Resources

Prayer at the Western Wall

Jerusalem, Israel

During his pilgrimage to Israel, John Paul II prayed at the Western Wall, the remnants of the platform upon which the Second Temple was built. He prayed according to Jewish custom by placing a written prayer, a kvitle, in the cracks of the Wall. The text repeated the prayer for God's forgiveness for Christian sins against the Jewish people that had been offered at St. Peter's Basilica during the Mass of Pardon on March 12, 2000, with the significant difference that the conclusion of the March 12th prayer, "We ask this through Christ our Lord" was omitted. The written, hand-signed by the pope and stamped with the Vatican seal, was later transferred to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem. Click here for a photo of the prayer.


God of our fathers,

you chose Abraham and his descendants

to bring Your name to the nations:

we are deeply saddened

by the behavior of those

who in the course of history

have caused these children of Yours to suffer,

and asking Your forgiveness

we wish to commit ourselves

to genuine brotherhood

with the people of the Covenant

Jerusalem, 26 March 2000.

Joannnes Paulus II