New Delhi (Agenzia Fides) - "As Franciscans, we are called to unite our communities and all our institutions in order to offer our solidarity to the people of Syria and build peace in Syria, the Middle East and throughout the world. Pope Francis, with his voice and with his prophetic gestures, has rekindled in us the spirit of St. Francis for peace and harmony": This is what says a statement sent to Fides Agency by the Franciscans in India, who participated with enthusiasm to the fasting and prayer pro Syria and today "roll up their sleeves" so as to be active promoters of peace and reconciliation. The note sent to Fides is signed by Friar A.J. Mathew OFM Cap, President of the "National Association of the Franciscan Families of India", which in the subcontinent is a large network of 52 religious congregations and about 165 provinces with communities distributed through the various institutions, in rural and urban areas.
Pope Francis, say the followers of Saint Francis, has "awakened our great potential, to strengthen the mission to be peacemakers in the world". For this reason, the Franciscans are "effectively responding to the Pope’s call, now and for the future" and, after having participated with intensity in the pro-Syria Day on September 7, they propose to the various communities, schools, universities, institutions, to continue to find time to pray together for peace in Syria and in other parts of the world, remembering "all those who have died for peace and justice". In particular, the Franciscans commit themselves to reciting the prayer "God make me an instrument of your Peace", attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, every day and to bring in all environments and in society "a special message on the urgency of peace and harmony in our daily lives", starting from the Indian context, marked by violence and social and religious conflict. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 11/09/2013)