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In the wake of the ongoing violence in Syria, Pope Francis has made an urgent plea for peace. The pope called for a day of prayer and fasting for peace in Syria, the Mideast Region and the entire world on Saturday, Sept. 7. People will gather in St. Peter's Square from 7 to 11 p.m. (1 to 5 p.m. EDT), and the pope invited local churches to do the same.
The day of prayer will take place on the vigil of the feast of the birthday of Mary, Queen of Peace. In a special way Pope Francis urged the faithful to invoke her intercession. Join Pope Francis in working for the “precious gift” of peace by sharing the following prayers and resources with your parish or school.
FOR PARISH FAMILIES
Christ said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” (John 14:27)
Peace. That little word holds the key to a better world! Something so important should become part of who we are, of how we think, act, love.
Fast and pray. Make Saturday a day of penance by fasting from food — as well as other items and activities — and praying for peace in unity with the Church around the world. You can use the prayers found on this page.
Family Peace Prayer
Encourage families to say this prayer throughout the day on Saturday, September 7 and at mealtimes or bedtime thereafter. It can be said immediately following the traditional meal blessing or Grace:
We pray for peace, love and joy
for all of the children and families in the world.
Talk about peace as a family:
- When do you feel peaceful?
- When have you brought peace to someone?
- Remember family events that were especially peaceful. What was special about these events?
- How does your family resolve conflict?
- Describe what it means to have a peaceful school, parish, or neighborhood. How might you “work for peace” in your community?
- Why do wars start? What is needed for peace? With older elementary-aged or middle school children, talk about why people go to war with each other – land, cultural differences, etc. Is there ever a good reason for war?
FOR CATHOLIC PARISHES AND SCHOOLS
Spread the Word. Add Pope Francis' message to your parish or school website. Send an email to parishioners and parents passing on prayers from this website. As you pray and fast, invite others via social media to do the same.
God of Peace,
Bless our ears so we will hear your Word,
Bless our eyes to see our friends in need,
Bless our hands so we will do your work,
And give us courageous hearts so that we
will create a world filled with the everlasting peace of your Son, Jesus.
Peace Pledge for Kids
I am a peacemaker.
I treat myself and others with respect. I listen, I share.
I care for the earth, air, water, plants and animals.
I am important in this very big world.
I know that peace begins with me.
(Normandale Hills Elementary, Bloomington, MN. Used with permission)