Tomorrow Christians around the world will answer Pope Francis’ call to dedicate September 7 to prayer and fasting for peace in Syria. The penitential day will culminate with a prayer vigil in St. Peter’s Square that Vatican officials expect to be one of the largest such events in decades.
Catholic News Service has a helpful schedule of the events in Rome tomorrow, including liturgical details of the vigil itself, slated to begin at 7pm in Rome (that’s 1pm Eastern time).
The USCCB has provided this prayer for the people of Syria and for the peaceful resolution of that country’s conflicts:
Almighty eternal God, source of all compassion,
the promise of your mercy and saving help fills our hearts with hope.
Hear the cries of the people of Syria;
bring healing to those suffering from the violence,
and comfort to those mourning the dead.
Empower and encourage Syria’s neighbors
in their care and welcome for refugees.
Convert the hearts of those who have taken up arms,
and strengthen the resolve of those committed to peace.
O God of hope and Father of mercy,
your Holy Spirit inspires us to look beyond ourselves and our own needs.
Inspire leaders to choose peace over violence
and to seek reconciliation with enemies.
Inspire the Church around the world with compassion for the people of Syria,
and fill us with hope for a future of peace built on justice for all.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace and Light of the World,
who lives and reigns for ever and ever.