Rome becomes the “capital of peace”


On Tuesday 20 October in Rome the International Prayer Meeting for Peace will take place:  participants will include representatives of world religions.  The initiative is being promoted by the Sant’Egidio Community. Maria Voce, president of the Focolare Movement will also be present.  The event can be followed via streaming.

“We are very happy that this meeting can take place because we need words of peace, words of hope, words that indicate a future for humanity that is overwhelmed by this pandemic.” This is how Marco Impagliazzo, president of the Sant’Egidio Community, presented the 2020 International Prayer Meeting for Peace.  The event will be inspired by the spirit of Assisi and will be attended by representatives of the great world religions.  It is entitled “Nobody is Saved Alone – Peace and Fraternity” and will take place today, 20 October, in Rome, Italy in Piazza del Campidoglio.  It will gather together members of  different faiths and representatives of many different institutions for a solemn moment of reflection that aims to offer a message of hope for the future.

During this event there will be time for prayer, each according to his or her own tradition.  A number of speakers will also offer interventions highlighting the contribution of religions in building a better future of peace and fraternity, especially now that the pandemic is causing widespread social and economic suffering.

The president of the Focolare Movement, Maria Voce, will be among the participants.

The event is scheduled to begin at 4.30 p.m. (utc+2) when the religious representatives will gather in different locations for prayer. Christians will meet for ecumenical prayer in the Basilica of St. Mary in Aracoeli (click here for the programme).

At approximately 5.20 p.m. (utc+2) the meeting will take place in Piazza di Campidoglio. During the ceremony, keynote addresses will be given by Sergio Mattarella, the President of the Italian Republic, Andrea Riccardi, the founder of the Sant’Egidio Community and Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission who has recorded a video message.  Interventions will also be made by the Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, the Chief Rabbi of France, Rav Haim Korsia, the Secretary General of the Superior Committee of the Human Fraternity, Dr. Mohamed Abdelsalam Abdellatif, from the Ven. Shoten Minegishi (Soto Zen Buddhism), Dr. Karmaljit Singh Dillon (Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak National Committee) and Mrs. Divya Punchayil Prashoban (Hinduist representative).  Pope Francis will conclude this part of the meeting.

The ceremony will then continue with a minute’s silence in memory of the victims of the pandemic and of all wars, the reading of the 2020 Appeal for Peace which will be delivered by a group of children to the ambassadors and representatives of national and international politics and the lighting of the peace candle by Pope Francis.

The “Prayer Meeting for Peace” will be broadcast in full live streaming on the event website and on the social channels of the Sant’Egidio Community.

Lorenzo Russo

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