On Sunday the second annual Day of Intercession for Peace in the Holy Land was celebrated in Rome. Along with their parents and educators, youth members from Catholic Action of Rome (ACR) were on hand to celebrate the culmination of their observation of the "Month for Peace" and, especially, to raise awareness and funds for peace in the Holy Land.
The youth had organized the "Caravan for Peace," in which they made the pilgrimage to St. Peter's Square from the Navona Square a mile away, to "take their witness of peace to the streets of the city." Singing and whistling along the procession route, they showed a general enjoyment.
Upon arriving at St. Peter's, the association used a stage they had set up in the center of the Square. Despite rain, they maintained a festive atmosphere with more song and dance during the period before the Angelus
Cardinal Vicar of Rome Agostino Vallini was also on hand to lead the group in prayer just minutes ahead of Pope Benedict's appearance in the window of his Vatican apartment for the recitation of the Marian prayer.
At the Angelus' conclusion, two children from the ACR joined the Holy Father in the window to deliver a message on behalf of the association. One of these children explained that another goal of their initiative was to raise funds to contribute to the reconstruction of a multimedia center in the Holy Land at the Catholic Action Institute of Bethlehem.
After seeing the disastrous effects of the Haitian earthquake on children, the young girl added, they had also been "praying so much for them." They would also be dedicating some of the funds they had gathered during the "Month for Peace" to the children of the island nation.
Following the greetings, the Pope and the children released a pair of white doves to mark the occasion. In doing so, Benedict XVI said, they were "giving everyone a sign of hope."
.- A group from Italian Catholic Action of Rome all but took over St. Peter's Square for Sunday's Angelus. They had made a "caravan" across the city earlier that morning to promote peace, especially in the Holy Land.