A two‒day International Meeting for Peace “Peoples as Brothers, Future Earth. Religions and Cultures in Dialogue” organized by the Community of Sant’Egidio on 6-7 October concluded with a prayer for peace at the Colosseum in Rome which gathered worldwide leaders of various religions and confessions around Pope Francis.
Reflecting on the first aspect of the theme, in his opening address, Pope Francis stated that prayer is a “quiet source of strength which brings peace and disarms hate-filled hearts.” After a moment of silence for the victims of all wars, Pope Francis reiterated the words in the Document on Human Fraternity signed in 2019 with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, present at the event in the Colosseum, asking God to “demilitarize the human heart.” “As believers it is our responsibility to help eradicate hatred from human hearts and to condemn every form of violence,” he stated.
Pope Francis also reflected on the second aspect of the theme, affirming that peace among peoples also involves a “commitment to care for creation and our common home.” The Holy Father praised “my dear brother, Patriarch Bartholomew, present here, [who] helped us to realize that ‘to commit a crime against the natural world is a sin against ourselves and a sin against God’” (cited in Laudato si’, 8).
Pope Francis concluded his address with an appeal for courage, affirming that prayer and action can change the course of history. “Let us dream of religions as sisters and peoples as brothers! ... Sister religions to help peoples be brothers and sisters living in peace, reconciled stewards of creation, our common home.”
Photos © Servizio Fotografico | Vatican Media