Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - "We want a peaceful world, we want to be men and women of peace, and we want in our society, torn apart by divisions and conflicts, that peace break out! War never again! Never again war". These are Pope Francis’ heartfelt words pronounced on Sunday, September 1, before the Angelus prayer with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square. The Holy Father, who dedicated his whole speech on this issue, "is deeply wounded by what is happening in Syria and anguished by the dramatic developments which are looming" and renewed his strong appeal to each party in conflict, asking them "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 therefore has decided to proclaim for the whole Church on 7 September next, the vigil of the birth of Mary, Queen of Peace, a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, the Middle East, and throughout the world, inviting each person, including "our fellow Christians, followers of other religions and all men of good will, to participate, in whatever way they can, in this initiative".
In Saint Peter’s Square, from 19:00 until 24:00, "we will gather in prayer and in a spirit of penance, invoking God’s great gift of peace upon the beloved nation of Syria and upon each situation of conflict and violence around the world", stressed the Holy Father, inviting everyone to participate. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 02/09/2013)