Day of Prayer & Fasting for Peace to be Held September 7

Syrian refugees, fleeing the violence in their country, cross the border into the Kurdish region of northern Iraq. CNS photo/Haider Ala, Reuters

For God’s Gift of Peace in Syria

Pope Francis has proclaimed this Saturday, September 7, a universal day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, the Middle East and throughout the world. That day is the vigil of the feast of the Birth of Mary, Queen of Peace.

 In the Diocese of Harrisburg all Catholics are encouraged to observe a personal fast day on that day.  The fast may take the form of simple meals or no food in between meals or refraining from meals.

 Parishes are being asked to make provisions for opportunities of prayer and adoration as much as possible. This may include adoration or the recitation of the rosary prior to or after Masses on Saturday. This prayer of petition may also be used during Masses for the next several Sundays:

 “For God’s gift of peace in Syria and throughout the world, may it be advanced by fasting, prayer and genuine international and individual efforts to bring an end to violence and war.”

 Background : This past Sunday, September 1, 2013, during his Angelus address to the faithful in Saint Peter’s Square, Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, proclaimed for the whole Church a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria and throughout the world.   He made an urgent appeal for the precious gift of peace.  With the utmost firmness, the Pope condemned the use of chemical weapons and recalled for us that “war begets war, violence begets violence.”  All of our efforts, Pope Francis pleaded, must be for peace, internationally and individually. The Holy Father urged Catholics and all people to pursue peace, peace born from a culture of encounter and dialogue with one another, and to participate in this day of fasting and prayer in whatever way possible.

 In Rome, at Saint Peter’s Square, on that day, the Holy Father will lead a gathering in prayer and in a spirit of penance, asking God for the gift of peace in Syria and all places of conflict. The Pope asks all local churches to assemble for the same intention in a similar way, therefore

 Because of the short notice for this observance allows only for electronic communication all are being asked to please spread the word through e-mail resources and social media.

 A statement on this from the U.S. Bishops along with other resources regarding the church’s efforts in the region is available at www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/global-issues/middle-east/syria/index.cfm.

Pope Francis’ call for a day of fasting and prayer is online at: http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/09/01/pope:_angelus_appeal_for_peace_(full_text)/en1-724673.

Prayer Resources: http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/prayers/prayer-for-peace-in-syria.cfm.

Humanitarian Assistance: http://emergencies.crs.org/

Advocacy:http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/take-action-now/capwiz/index.cfm

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