Vatican City, Sep 8, 2013 / 00:29 am
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.