Pope to Pray for Forgiveness at Ground Zero

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During his visit to New York next week, the Pope will pray for the 9/11 victims - and for the salvation of terrorists who are now filled with hatred.

Duirng a visit to Ground Zero April 20, Pope Benedict XVI will pray for love and redemption "of those whose hearts and minds are consumed with hatred," the Vatican said.

The prayer will also remember victims of attacks at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and on United Flight 93.

The emotional stop will be on the last day of Benedict's six-day trip to Washington and New York. It will mark his first time in the U.S.

The pope will also celebrate a Mass at Yankee Stadium, where more than 200,000 people have requested one of only 57,000 seats available.

The Vatican released the Pope's prayer, Thursday, in which He also calls upon God to bring healing to those who are still suffering.

Nearly 3,000 people died in the September 11 attacks, including the 19 hijackers.

Last month, Osama bin Laden accused Pope Benedict of being part of a "new crusade" against Islam, which the Vatican denied.

The following is a transcript of the Pope's prepared prayer.

"O God of love, compassion, and healing, look on us, people of many different faiths and traditions, who gather today at this site, the scene of incredible violence and pain.

"We ask you in your goodness to give eternal light and peace to all who died here -- the heroic first-responders: our fire fighters, police officers, emergency service workers, and Port Authority personnel, along with all the innocent men and women who were victims of this tragedy simply because their work or service brought them here on September 11, 2001.

"We ask you, in your compassion to bring healing to those who, because of their presence here that day, suffer from injuries and illness.

"Heal, too, the pain of still-grieving families and all who lost loved ones in this tragedy. Give them strength to continue their lives with courage and hope. We are mindful as well of those who suffered death, injury, and loss on the same day at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

"Our hearts are one with theirs as our prayer embraces their pain and suffering. God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world: peace in the hearts of all men and women and peace among the nations of the earth.

"Turn to your way of love those whose hearts and minds are consumed with hatred. God of understanding, overwhelmed by the magnitude of this tragedy, we seek your light and guidance as we confront such terrible events.

"Grant that those whose lives were spared may live so that the lives lost here may not have been lost in vain. Comfort and console us, strengthen us in hope, and give us the wisdom and courage to work tirelessly for a world where true peace and love reign among nations and in the hearts of all."

Sources: Reuters, The Associated Press

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