Damascus ( Agenzia Fides ) - "All the Bishops and faithful Christians in Damascus welcome the appeal to fast and pray for peace in Syria on Saturday, September 7. Prayer is our last chance to stop violence": says the statement sent to Fides Agency by His Exc. Mgr. Samir Nassar, Maronite Archbishop of Damascus, who lives these days with his community in an attitude of "prayer and hope to stop the war". The Archbishop informs Fides that "many Muslims will join us", and that, therefore, prayer in Damascus will be ecumenical and interreligious, a sign of strong will for peace on behalf of the whole Syrian population.
As Fides learns, the different communities and parishes are preparing moments and prayer vigils. A very heartfelt and very participatory initiative that will be at the Shrine of "Tabbaleh", in Damascus, which is the "Memorial of St. Paul", a place where every Saturday a Holy Mass and an ecumenical vigil is celebrated. At the Sanctuary, entrusted to the pastoral care of the Franciscan Friars of the Custody of the Holy Land, "we will live an intense day of fasting, penance and prayer on September 7, to implore peace from God", says to Fides the Franciscan friar Fr. Romualdo Fernandez OFM, rector of the Shrine. "The prayer vigil, with the participation of the friars, the Franciscan Missionaries of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and many of the faithful will be animated by young people and children".
"All the Franciscan churches have welcomed with great joy Pope Francis’ appeal for peace, a man who cares about the fate of Syria. The faithful feel his closeness and are excited and moved for his words", concludes Fr. Fernandez. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 04/09/2013)