Loading
Papal peace vigil draws positive response
Pope Francis touches an image of Mary at the Sept. 7 prayer vigil for peace. Credit: Lauren Cater / CNA
Pope Francis touches an image of Mary at the Sept. 7 prayer vigil for peace. Credit: Lauren Cater / CNA

.- Pope Francis’ four-hour Saturday prayer vigil is part of a “major peace initiative” that is receiving a favorable reaction across religious lines, a leading Vatican communications figure has said.

“Pope Francis wants to keep this issue alive to make sure everything possible could be done to put an end to the violence, and not to increase it,” Greg Burke, senior communications adviser to the Holy See’s Secretariat of State, said Sept. 7.

“The response has been really positive, not only from Catholics, but from other Christians and non-Christians as well.”

The prayer vigil drew an estimated 100,000 people to St. Peter’s Square on Saturday evening. They prayed the Rosary with Pope Francis in the presence of the famous Marian icon “Salus Populi Romani,” the Protectress of the Roman People. Those gathered also prayed in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

Pope Francis’ remarks at the vigil strongly condemned war.

“We bring about the rebirth of Cain in every act of violence and every war. All of us,” he said. “Even today we raise our hand against our brother. Even today we let ourselves be guided by idols, by selfishness, by our own interests.”

“Can we learn once again to walk and live in the ways of peace?” the Pope asked. “Yes, it is possible for everyone!”

Catholics and others held thousands of similar prayer events around the world in response to the Pope’s Sept. 1 call for a vigil for “the whole Church.”

“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,” Pope Francis said in St. Peter’s Square on Sept. 1.

Burke said that Pope Francis’ numerous actions show how important peace is to him.

“If you look at the Pope’s tweets, his letter to Putin and the G-20, and the diplomatic activity in the course of the week, this has been a major peace initiative on the part of Pope Francis,” Burke said before the vigil. “Today he’s asking everyone to join in by praying. The Pope will be praying not only for Syria but for peace in the Middle East and the entire world.”

The U.S. government has threatened military strikes on Syrian government forces, which it blames for a massive chemical weapons attack that killed over 1,400 people. The Syrian conflict between government and rebel forces has killed more than 100,000 since March 2011.

In a Sept. 4 letter to Russian president Vladimir Putin, the host of the G20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, Pope Francis urged world leaders to “overcome the conflicting positions” and “lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution.”

He said that “one-sided interests” have “hindered the search for a solution that would have avoided the senseless massacre now unfolding.”

Tags: Peace, Syria Conflict, Pope Francis


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
16

Liturgical Calendar

April 16, 2014

Wednesday of Holy Week

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 26:14-25

Gospel
Date
04/16/14
04/14/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Is 50:4-9a
Gospel:: Mt 26:14-25

Homily of the Day

Mt 26:14-25

Homily
Date
04/16/14
04/14/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: