Saint Peter's Square
Sunday, 4 February 2018


....And now an announcement. Faced with the tragic prolonging of conflicts in various parts of the world, I invite all the faithful to join me in a Special Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace on 23 February, the Friday of the First week of Lent. We will offer it in particular for the populations of the Democratic Republic of Congo and of South Sudan. As on other similar occasions, I also invite our non-Catholic and non-Christian brothers and sisters to join in this initiative in the ways they believe best, but all together.
Our heavenly Father always listens to his children who cry out to him in pain and anguish; “he heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds” (Ps 147[146]:3). I launch a heartfelt appeal that we too may listen to this cry and each, according to his or her own conscience before God, can ask: “What can I do for peace?”. We can certainly pray, but not only: each one can concretely say “no” to violence on his or her own behalf. Because the victories obtained through violence are false victories, whereas working for peace is good for everyone.