Benedict XVI is encouraging concrete projects to bring peace in the Holy Land in this time of great change in the Middle East.

The Pope made this exhortation today after he had prayed the midday Angelus with thousands who had gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

As part of his traditional meeting with the faithful today, the Holy Father marked the last Sunday of January, the month of peace. Two young people from Catholic Action — an adolescent girl and a boy — joined him at the window of his study from where he prays the Angelus and the trio released two doves.

Sunday, the International Day of Intercession for Peace in the Holy Land is also celebrated.

The Pope said that he was joining with the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Fouad Twal, and the Franciscan custodian of the Holy Land, Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, to ask “everyone to pray to the Lord that he bring minds and hearts together in concrete peace projects.”

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 30, 2011 (