Vatican: Let Peace Begin in Jerusalem

Cardinal Turkson Sends Note for Holy Land Prayer Day

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 15, 2010 ( The president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace is asking for peace on earth, and that it begin in Jerusalem.

Cardinal Peter Turkson wrote this in his message for the Third International Day of Intercession for Peace in the Holy Land. Bishop Mario Toso, the dicastery’s secretary, also signed the note, which was released today.
The prayer initiative, which is organized by several Catholic youth associations, will take place Jan. 29-30.

The annual event began in 2009, when faithful from some 500 cities around the world joined in a common prayer for peace. Last January, some 1,103 cities worldwide joined Benedict XVI, Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the custos of the Holy Land, and Archbishop Fouad Twal, the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, to participate in the prayer for peace.

Organizers say that groups from more than 2,000 cities have already confirmed participation in this year’s event.

The prayer day is supported by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and responds in a special way to the call for prayer from the recent Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops.

«The Church has always made an effort to spread the message of peace,» Cardinal Turkson said in his message. «Today, the very important topic of peace and the search for it are more timely than ever.»

He then quoted Benedict XVI’s appeal at the close of the recent synod for the Middle East: «The cry of the poor and the oppressed finds an immediate echo in God, who wishes to intervene to open a way out, to restore a future of liberty, an horizon of hope.»
The Third International Day of Intercession for Peace in the Holy Land, Cardinal Turkson noted, «gathers different associations, brothers and sisters of every region, and solicits them to make their voice heard in the whole world saying: We want peace, reconciliation and unity, beginning in Jerusalem!»
«We hope that this initiative, known already by many, will again be more appreciated and diffused, as the prayerful contribution of believers of the whole world in support of the Civilization of Love,» he added.


The 24 hours of continuous prayer will begin in conjunction with the 5th Extraordinary Prayer of All Churches for Reconciliation, Unity and Peace Beginning in and Proceeding From Jerusalem, as well as the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in Jerusalem.

Some of the organizing groups are: the National Papaboys Association, the Apostolate Youth For Life Association, the Perpetual Adoration Chapels Association in Italy and in the world, and the groups of Adunanza Eucaristica.

Individuals, communities and groups are invited to join in the prayer for peace. Individuals can join the «We Want Peace in the Holy Land 2» Facebook group.

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