Pope Francis Announces Global Prayer Vigil for Peace on September 7th

“I appeal strongly for peace, an appeal which arises from the deep within me,” Pope Francis told the crowds in Rome.

Kerri Lenartowick
03.09.2013 // PRINT
Paul and Joy
Departing from his typical reflections on the Sunday gospel, Pope Francis used his Angelus audience today to call for peace throughout the world, particularly in conflict-ridden Syria.

“I appeal strongly for peace, an appeal which arises from the deep within me,” he said to the crowds in St. Peter’s Square on Sept. 1.

“There are so many conflicts in this world which cause me great suffering and worry, but in these days my heart is deeply wounded in particular by what is happening in Syria and anguished by the dramatic developments which are looming,” continued the Pope.

“For this reason, brothers and sisters, I have decided to call for a vigil for the whole Church,” he announced.

It will be “a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, in the Middle East, and throughout world.”

The vigil will take place on Sept. 7, the vigil of the birth of Mary, Queen of Peace. Those who can will gather in St. Peter’s Square from 7 p.m. until midnight: other local Churches are requested to join in the fasting and prayer by gathering together.

Pope Francis extended his invitation to “fellow Christians, followers of other religions and all men of good will, to participate, in whatever way they can, in this initiative.”

“Humanity needs to see these gestures of peace and to hear words of hope and peace!” said the Pope.

“All men and women of good will are bound by the task of pursuing peace,” he charged.

“I make a forceful and urgent call to the entire Catholic Church, and also to every Christian of other confessions, as well as to followers of every religion and to those brothers and sisters who do not believe: peace is a good which overcomes every barrier, because it belongs all of humanity!”

The Pope went on to lament the use of arms and its negative impact on civilians, the unarmed, and children, particularly recently in the “martyred country” of Syria.

“With all my strength, I ask each party in this conflict to listen to the voice of their own conscience, not to close themselves in solely on their own interests, but rather to look at each other as brothers and decisively and courageously to follow the path of encounter and negotiation, and so overcome blind conflict,” he said.

Pope Francis also asked the international community “to make every effort to promote clear proposals for peace in that country without further delay.”

He rejected the use of chemical weapons and requested that humanitarian workers “be granted access so as to provide the necessary aid.”

The Pope continued his insistent appeal for peace: “it is neither a culture of confrontation nor a culture of conflict which builds harmony within and between peoples, but rather a culture of encounter and a culture of dialogue; this is the only way to peace.”

Noting Mary’s universal motherly concern, Pope Francis said, “Let us ask Mary to help us to respond to violence, to conflict and to war, with the power of dialogue, reconciliation and love. She is our mother: may she help us to find peace; all of us are her children!”

As he has done on previous Sundays, Pope Francis led the crowds in invoking her intercession: “Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us!”

Originally published by Catholic News Agency on September 1st, 2013.

Oregon Catholic Press

For more than 80 years, OCP (Oregon Catholic Press) has responded to the diverse and changing needs of churches and worshipers around the world. As the Church grows, we’ve grown and evolved, too.Our new look is more than skin deep—it reflects a renewal of our ongoing commitment: to provide the finest music, worship resources and service.It speaks to both our connection with the past and our vision for the future, a future in which every church, every Christian, has what they need to pray and sing to our God.But more than anything else, it’s about our commitment to you—your faith, your ministry, your personal spiritual journey.

NET Ministries

NET Ministries is a national Catholic youth ministry program where young adults spend nine months of their lives evangelizing to high school and middle school youth through retreats across the country. The mission of NET Ministries is to challenge young Catholics to love Christ and embrace the life of the Church.

This Ain't The Lyceum

A Catholic homeschooling blog; where classical education meets real life.

Archdiocese of Grouard-McLennan

Roman Catholic archdiocese in north-western Alberta, Canada
Partners: 1577
Become a Partner