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Pope in Bari Appeals for Peace in Syria

Holy Father’s Reflection Before the Angelus

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At 10:45 this morning, the Holy Father Francis presided over the Eucharistic Celebration, in the Corso Vittorio Emanuele at Bari, at the conclusion of the meeting of reflection and spirituality entitled “Mediterranean: Border of Peace,” in the course of which he pronounced the homily.

At the end of the Celebration, after the greeting and words of gratitude of H.E. Monsignor Francesco Cacucci, Archbishop of Bari-Bitonto, the Pope led the recitation of the Angelus with the faithful and pilgrims gathered there.

Then he went by car to Christopher Columbus Square, from which he left by helicopter at 12:50 pm, to return to the Vatican.

Here is a translation of the Pope’s introductory words at the recitation of the Angelus.

* * * 

Before the Angelus:

 Dear Brothers and Sisters,

While we are gathered here to pray and to reflect on peace and on the fate of peoples bordering on the Mediterranean, on the other shore of this sea, in particular in the northwest of Syria, a huge tragedy is unfolding. From our Pastors’ heart, a strong appeal is raised to the actors involved and to the International Community, to silence the sound of arms and to hear the cry of the little ones and the defenseless, so that calculations and interests are put aside, to safeguard the lives of civilians and of so many innocent children who pay the consequences.

Let us pray to the Lord to move hearts so that all are able to overcome the logic of confrontation, of hatred and of revenge, to rediscover themselves brothers and children of one Father, who makes the sun rise on the good and on the evil (Cf. Matthew 5:45). Let us invoke the Holy Spirit so that each one of us may contribute, with daily gestures of love, to build new relations inspired in understanding, hospitality, and patience, thus setting down the conditions to experience the joy of the Gospel and to spread it in every environment of life. May the Virgin Mary, “Star of the Sea” [Holy Mother of God], whom we look to as the loftiest example of fidelity to Jesus and to His word, help us to walk on this path.

Before reciting the Angelus together, I express my heartfelt gratitude to all the Bishops and to all those that have taken part in this meeting on the Mediterranean as a border of peace, as well as those — and they are so many! — who have worked in different ways for its good outcome. Thank you all! You have contributed to making the culture of encounter and of dialogue grow, in this very important region, for peace in the world.

[Original text: Italian]]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

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Jim Fair

Jim Fair is a husband, father, grandfather, writer, and communications consultant. He also likes playing the piano and fishing. He writes from the Chicago area.

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