Monday, 22 September 2014

The Antwerp peace prayer is being relived in many locations around the world

If - as Pope Francis stated - current events are tragically marked by a war that is fought as a series of chapters, of episodes, it makes sense for the communities of Sant’Egidio around the world to live the spirit of Assisi in many locations, in a series of steps, reflecting the image of peace, memory and unity that comes from the ceremony at the Grote Markt of Antwerp. They do so by continuing to elaborate, in different contexts, on the message in the prayer for peace of this past 9th of September, as is well illustrated on the Community’s website, www.santegidio.com.
Events similar to those held in Antwerp have taken place over the past days in several locations: in Mexico, at the Jesuit-managed Universidad Iberoamericana, with in mind the
background of endemic violence that bloodies the central American region; in Cameroon, where Christian and Muslim leaders have reaffirmed their commitment to continue on the path of interreligious dialogue and friendship (notwithstanding the fundamentalist threat from Boko Haram) and to commemorate the victims of the Ebola epidemic; in Cuba, for the first time, in a particularly inspiring ceremony that replicated the one in Antwerp and ended in the splendid scenery of Plaza de Belén at La Habana Vieja; but also in Nakuru, Kenya, on the occasion of the anniversary of the terrible attack of Westgate in Nairobi; and finally in Bukavu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in one of the eyes of the hurricane, of the
violent storm that is shaking the world. Representatives of religious groups and of civil society participated in the round tables and in the final ceremony in Place de la Paix, affirming that the building of a peaceful society is everybody’s responsibility.

This is what has occurred so far, but new prayers for peace are being organized, the spirit of Assisi continues to blow and becomes a commitment that must be sustained throughout the coming year. 

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