Pope Francis at Angelus: Sept 7 day of prayer for peace

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has called for a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, in the entire Mideast region, and throughout the whole world to be held this coming Saturday, September 7th, 2013. Speaking ahead of the traditional Angelus prayer with pilgrims gathered in St Peter’s Square this Sunday, Pope Francis said, “On [Saturday] the 7th of September, here [in St Peter’s Square], from 7 PM until midnight, we will gather together in prayer, in a spirit of penitence, to ask from God this great gift [of peace] for the beloved Syrian nation and for all the situations of conflict and violence in the world.” The Holy Father also invited non-Catholic Christians and non-Christian believers to participate in ways they feel are appropriate. “Never again war!” said Pope Francis. “We want a peaceful world,” he said, “we want to be men and women of peace.”

Pope Francis also issued a forceful condemnation of the use of chemical weapons. “There is the judgment of God, and also the judgment of history, upon our actions – [judgments] from which there is no escaping.” He called on all parties to conflicts to pursue negotiations, and urged the international community to take concrete steps to end conflicts, especially the war in Syria. “Humanity needs to see gestures of peace,” said Pope Francis, “and to hear words of hope and of peace.”