Mexican parish to remember victims of violence with 130,000 candles

candles Credit: Mike Labrum / Unsplash

A Mexican parish will remember the victims of violence in the country with 130,000 candles to be lit the night of July 30, as part of the Day of Prayer for Peace called by the Mexican Bishops’ Conference.

In a video message, Father Alberto Medel, pastor of Our Father Parish in the Diocese of Xochimilco, south of Mexico City, recalled the bishops’ conference’s invitation to pray especially on July 31 “for the perpetrators and the civil authorities, so they may open their hearts to this situation of unleashed violence that we are experiencing and that has claimed so many lives and that has caused so much pain.”

In response, the Mexican priest said, his parish seeks to prepare itself to observe that day “with a prayer vigil in which we want to light 130,000 candles” in order to “remember all those who have died in such a violent way and at the same time in such a pointless way.”

The vigil will be held July 30 at 8 p.m. Central time and will be broadcast on the YouTube channels and Facebook pages of Medel, the Diocese of Xochimilco, the Archdiocese of Mexico, and the archdiocese’s weekly publication Desde la Fe.

According to the local press, in the three and a half years of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s administration, nearly 130,000 people have been murdered in Mexico. When the president completes his six-year term, it could be the most violent administration in the history of Mexico. In this same period, seven Catholic priests have been murdered.

According to official figures, from Jan. 1 to July 24 of this year, 14,943 homicides have been committed in Mexico.

In his video message, Medel asked, “in addition to joining us” in the vigil through YouTube and Facebook, “that you can help us with a candle or with a vigil light to achieve this goal.”

“We are a small parish but [have] a very big heart and want to embrace everyone and to send this sign,” he said.

This vigil, he stressed, while it is “a sign of faith,” also seeks to be “a way of telling those who must make the decisions that it’s necessary that justice be done so there can be peace.”

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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