Karachi (Agenzia Fides) - "In moments of tension and violence, while a symbolic attack is taking place at the heart of the state, as Catholics we turn to St. Anthony, whose feast is approaching, June 13: to the saint of Miracles we ask for the gift of peace and harmony for our beloved nation": This is what Fr. Mario Rodrigues, Director of the Commission of pastoral youth of the Archdiocese of Karachi and pastor at St. Anthony Church in the city says to Fides Agency. In an interview with Fides, the priest explains: "We are dismayed. The terrorist attack of Taliban origin, shows that these extremist groups also have a military force. They also want to have visibility and show that they are able to strike at the heart of the nation. There is an atmosphere of tension and suspension in the city. All the special forces have arrived. We hope the attack is foiled as soon as possible".
In response to this sudden attack, explains Father Mario "as Catholics we will address special prayers to St. Anthony: in the next three days, in preparation for his feast on 13 June, we will live an intense prayer with the prolonged exposure of the Blessed Sacrament in the church of St. Anthony in Karachi. From six in the morning until six in the evening, young people, adults, children, families, come to worship and pray to the Saint of miracles, to whom the Catholics of Karachi harbor a deep veneration.
We will dedicate three days to the constant invocation of peace for the nation, through the intercession of the Saint of Padua: help us to build peace, reconciliation and harmony in Pakistan". Fr. Mario concludes: "During this difficult period, we ask Pope Francis to pray for peace in Pakistan".
The attack against the International Airport of Karachi started on Sunday evening, June 8. Groups of armed terrorists killed at least 24 people and 20 were wounded. Clashes with Pakistani security forces continue today. The attack was claimed by the Pakistani Taliban. Karachi is Pakistan's southern metropolis, in Sindh province, known to be the most violent city in the country, where killings and violence among ethnic groups, terrorist and jihadist formations, criminal gangs involved in international drug trafficking and weapons take place every day. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 09/06/2014)