Sunday, 1 June 2014

Africa - The prayer for peace, faithful memory of many difficult situations, “burning aspiration” of innumerable men and women

On Sunday, May 25th, Pope Francis, a pilgrim in the land where the Prince of Peace was born and raised, emphasized the need for and importance of every effort and every prayer for peace. “Building peace is difficult”, he said, “but living without peace is a torment. Men and women of the whole world ask us to bring forth to God their burning aspiration for peace”. He went on to say: “We are all under an obligation to become tools and builders of peace, first of all through prayer”.
The communities of Sant’Egidio in the world are determined to faithfully carry forth such a commitment. A custom has developed in our communities to meet at least once a month to ask God for that peace which only He can fully grant, to remember one by one the names of the states and regions of the world being visited and tormented by the demon of violence and war.
Over the past few days two African communities have experienced the meeting for peace in a more lively fashion and with more participants than usual, as shown in the reports and the
pictures published on the www.santegidio.org website.
From the Democratic Republic of Congo, from the Kivu region that are suffering deeply due to the actions of the armed militias, and from Bukavu, an invocation has risen to put an end to all violence, a call for peace in every corner of the world. The attention granted to the event by the local media was significant as well, and reflected the growing demand for peace that is coming from Africa. A few thousand kilometers northwest of that region, another beautiful and deeply felt prayer was celebrated in Bamako, calling for an end to the armed clashes that still bring bloodshed to
northern Mali, so that we may find and proceed on the road to dialogue and reconciliation among all parties in the dispute.
The Community’s website records the story of P., an elderly woman from Mali, “who arrived after hours of walk from a very distant neighborhood, oblivious to her tiredness, focused on joining in the prayer. The woman was moved when she heard how many countries in the world still are without peace. ‘I will pray every day for my country, Mali, but also for the other ones I heard mentioned today’”.

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