Archdiocese of Chicago

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Pray for Peace in Syria

On the vigil of the feast of the birthday of Mary (Sept. 8), Pope Francis led those assembled in St. Peter’s square in a vigil for peace. The rosary was prayed, Mary invoked, benediction of the Blessed Sacrament given.

The urgency of this prayer arises from the ongoing civil warfare in Syria, which now threatens to become more international in its consequences. Already, the Christian minorities are mostly in camps and homeless, without any combatant to defend them. If the United States kills Syrians, the level of violence escalates and the depth of the hatred increases.

The deliberations about American intervention are, it seems to me, filled with a sense of our own self-importance. No one is asking us to intervene other than politicians out to “teach a lesson.”

One of the reasons Pope Francis has taken the imagination of the world by storm is because of his humility, his integrity, his joyfulness. Those are virtues seemingly absent from public life here, which is increasingly grim.

With Pope Francis, pray for peace.

Francis Cardinal George, OMI

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