Pope Francis on February 4, 2018, announced a special Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace to be held February 23, 2018. The Holy Father’s announcement came after the Angelus, prayed in St. Peter’s Square with a crowd estimated at 20,000.
In the face of the tragic protraction of situations of conflict in different parts of the world, I invite all the faithful to a special Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace next February 23, Friday of the First Week of Lent. We will offer it in particular for the populations of the Democratic Republic of Congo and of South Sudan. As on other similar occasions, I also invite non-Catholic and non-Christian brothers and sisters to associate themselves to this initiative in the way they consider most opportune, but all together.
Our heavenly Father always listens to His children who cry to Him in sorrow and anguish, who “heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3). I make a heartfelt appeal so that we also listen to this cry and, each one of us in his/her own conscience before God, ask ourselves: “What can I do for peace?” We certainly can pray, but not only: each one can say concretely “no” to violence in as much as it depends on him or her. Because the victories obtained with violence are false victories while working for peace does everyone good!
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