ASIA/HOLY LAND - Prayers and fasting for peace in Gaza and throughout the Middle East

Friday, 1 August 2014

Jerusalem (Agenzia Fides) - In conjunction with the agreement reached between Israel and Hamas for a truce that should ensure the suspension of military actions in the next three days, liturgies, prayers and fasting to be held in the coming days increase in all the local Christian communities in order to ask the Almighty God for the gift of peace. On Friday evening, August 1, in the parish of St. James in Beit Hanina a mass for peace and for the end of the war will be celebrated by Bishop William Shomali, Patriarchal Vicar of the Latin Patriarchate of Gerusalemnme. This afternoon, as every Friday, Father Mario Cornioli, a priest in Beit Jala, will celebrate Mass under the olive trees of the Cremisan Valley and then together with the faithful will recite the rosary in front of the separation wall built by the Israeli authorities. On Wednesday, July 30th, Archbishop Maroun Laham, Patriarchal Vicar for Jordan of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, already celebrated a Mass for peace in the church of Our Lady of Nazareth in Sweifieh. "Tonight we are here", said the Archbishop at the beginning of his homily "to pray for Gaza, Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Libya. We pray every day, we are confident that our Father who is in heaven hears our voice and sees what is happening".
Meanwhile in Egypt, the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch, Tawadros II called on Coptic Christians to join a 15-day fasting, from 7 to 22 August, to invoke for an end to the suffering of the people of Gaza. While the Catholic Churches in Egypt have already started fasting that will continue until the feast of the Assumption, 15th of August, to ask the Virgin Mary to intercede on behalf of the suffering of the peoples of the Middle East, starting from Egypt. Meanwhile, the Papal Foundation Aid to the Church in Need, in agreement with the Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, Louis Raphael I Sako, called on "all men of good will" to join the World Day of Prayer for Peace in Iraq proclaimed for next Tuesday, August 6th, on the occasion of the feast of the Transfiguration. The Chaldean Patriarch has also prepared and issued a prayer that all members of the initiative, wherever they are, will be able to recite on August 6 at noon, together with the Angelus. "The Feast of the Transfiguration" the Patriarch writes in his brief message, sent to Fides "is a celebration of the metamorphosis of the hearts and spirit, in the encounter with the light of God's love for humanity. May the light of Mount Tabor, thanks to our closeness, comfort and hope fill the hearts of all those who suffer.
May the message of Tabor, through our prayers, urge the leaders of Countries to sacrifice their personal interests for the general interest of all". (GV) (Agenzia Fides 01/08/2014)