The call for peace by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square echoed in silence last Saturday. It was, and still is, a heart felt cry shouted by all humanity and which echoes in favour of victims. It was a call which has been echoing in St. Peter’s square since the Great War and which has been repeated by almost all Popes ever since. (Watch)
Echoes can be heard when in an empty room, where even a tiny footstep seems like an army marching in. Echoes can be heard in open spaces where noises bounce on walls and repeat themselves until these fiddle away. A small cry in the openness where silence is sovereign and space is mighty, fills and echoes without ceasing.
Last Saturday St. Peter’s square was far from being empty.The whole world witnessed a 100,000 strong crowd gathered together for one scope.Together they called unto world leaders for peace, a call which echoed very strongly. It was not due to the physical emptiness or the rock formation. The call echoed because of the silence people were ready to make space for in their hearts. More than the speeches and invocations what made most noise was their silence.
That day the world witnessed one of the rarest scenes even; different religions and denominations praying together for peace, joined by non-believers who in the name of peace united in silence and fasted, together with the Pope. (Watch)
Last Saturday upon the invitation of Pope Francis, representatives or various religions and non-believers together with more than 100,000 people, have gathered together in St. Peter’s square during a 4 hour vigil to pray and fast for peace, specifically in Syria. These numbers are twice significant. Not just because it was a great manifestation but also because 100,000 is the estimated number of people who have died in the last 4 years in Syria due to the on going war.
A 4 hour night vigil, for 4 years of war, during which everyone could witness a time of prayer where Muslims, Buddhists, Christians and non-believers have gathered and fasted together, united by one aim: peace. This was not a call in favour of one side or the other, it was a call in favour of the children, young and old people, men and women killed. The message was clear: war cannot be an answer to reply to atrocities.
The big dispute is whether an attack on Syria would make things better or worst. My fear is that if an attack is launched we will surely witness a counter attack. Taking all things into perspective the results will surely be disastrous also considering the fact that the situation in Syria is already very volatile. The issue is whether to make it better or worse. How is the international community going to react? Last Saturday’s vigil was a call towards negotiations and justice as war won’t solve any problem, but just create more difficulties.
Whether the echoes of peace will resonate in the world leaders’ hearts is still unclear, let’s hope they put persons and their lives before anything else.
Please pray for Syria.