September 7th: Day of Fasting and Prayer for Peace in Syria

As you have heard, Pope Francis declared Saturday, September 7, 2013, a Day of Fasting and Prayer for Peace in Syria, the Middle East, and throughout the world. In solidarity with our Holy Father, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, President of the Conference of Bishops, and Bishop Richard E. Pates, Chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace, both issued a statement which can be found both below and on the USCCB Web Site.

As part of our Day of Fasting and Prayer in the Diocese of Winona, we invite parishioners to remain after the Saturday Vigil Mass to prayer the rosary for peace. The prayer for peace below will also be prayed every hour in the Adoration Chapel at Cathedral until Midnight on Saturday evening. We encourage you to return to pray for peace in Syria and the Middle East, as a sign our solidarity with Pope Frances who will be in prayer in St. Peter’s Square from 5pm till midnight this September 7.

Invitation to Day of Fasting and Prayer from Pope Francis:
“May the plea for peace rise up and touch the heart of everyone so that they may lay down their weapons and be let themselves be led by the desire for peace. To this end, brothers and sisters, I have decided to proclaim for the whole Church on September 7, the vigil of the birth of Mary, Queen of Peace, a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, the Middle East, and throughout the world, and I also invite each person, including our fellow Christians, followers of other religions and all men of good will, to participate, in whatever way they can, in this initiative. On 7 September, in Saint Peter’s Square, here, from 19:00 until 24:00, we will gather in prayer and in a spirit of penance, invoking God’s great gift of peace upon the beloved nation of Syria and upon each situation of conflict and violence around the world. Humanity needs to see these gestures of peace and to hear words of hope and peace! I ask all the local churches, in addition to fasting, that they gather to pray for this intention.
Let us ask Mary to help us to respond to violence, to conflict and to war, with the power of dialogue, reconciliation and love. She is our mother: may she help us to find peace; all of us are her children! Help us, Mary, to overcome this most difficult moment and to dedicate ourselves each day to building in every situation an authentic culture of encounter and peace. Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us”

Prayer for Peace in Syria
God of Compassion,
Hear the cries of the people of Syria,
Bring healing to those suffering from the violence,
Bring comfort to those mourning the dead,
Strengthen Syria’s neighbors in their care and welcome for refugees,
Convert the hearts of those who have taken up arms,
And protect those committed to peace.
God of Hope,
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 give us 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,
Petition: For the people of Syria, that God may strengthen the resolve of leaders to end the
fighting and choose a future of peace.
We pray to the Lord…
[This prayer is from Catholics Confront Global Poverty, a collaborative effort of USCCB and
Catholic Relief Services,]