Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace
The Holy Father, Pope Francis, has called the entire Catholic Church, fellow Christians, followers of other religions and all men of good will, to a worldwide day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, in the entire Middle East region, and throughout the whole world to be held on Saturday, September 7, 2013.
The conflict in Syria gives signs of escalating. Tens of thousands have already died in the violence in that country with rich biblical tradition. There is evidence of chemical weapons having being used in the conflict. The Holy Father’s appeal has a sense of urgency in it.
I am requesting all our Churches to declare a day of fasting and prayer in response to and in harmony with the Holy Father’s appeal. Our Convents and Religious Institutes, in particular, could be urged to observe this day especially praying for peace in the world.
September 7 is the eve of the Feast of the Nativity of Mary, the Queen of Peace, which in India is celebrated as the day of the Girl Child. We also pray for eradication of violence against women about which we have been hearing recently with increasing frequency all over the country. We ask Mary to help us to respond to violence, to conflict and to war, with the power of dialogue, reconciliation and love. Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us!
With kind regards and best wishes,
Yours fraternally in Christ,
XOswald Cardinal Gracias
Archbishop of Bombay &