Information Concerning The Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi

VATICAN CITY, JAN 18, 2002 (VIS) - This morning, Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls informed journalists concerning the order of events for the Day of Prayer for Peace in the World which is due to be held in Assisi, Italy, on January 24.

On the night of January 23 a prayer vigil for peace will be held, organized by the Italian Episcopal Conference. On the same day, in the Vatican's Synod Hall, there will be a meeting of representatives of non-Christian religions.

Navarro-Valls said that the Pope will travel by train, departing from the Vatican City railway station at 8:30 a.m. accompanied by the representatives who will participate in the Day of Prayer. There are to be no stops on the journey, which is due to last two hours.

The representatives from the various religions will come together in two of the three planned ceremonies. At 11 a.m., testimonials in favor of peace will be delivered in the Lower Square of St. Francis. At 12:30 p.m. the groups will divide to various locations in order to pray for peace; the Christians, led by the Pope, will gather in the Lower Basilica of St. Francis. During the final ceremony, in the Lower Square of St. Francis at 3:30 p.m., there will be readings in ten different languages, expressing the common commitment to peace. In a symbolic gesture, the Pope will then light a candle which will be placed in the basilica.

Prior to returning to the Vatican by train in the company of the other representatives, John Paul II will deliver a brief greeting to the nuns in the Basilica of St. Clare and to the Friars Minor in the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels.

Although the number of participants may yet grow, as of today representatives are expected from 12 Patriarchates and Orthodox Churches; from six Patriarchates and ancient Churches of the East; from 15 Churches, ecclesial communities, federations, alliances and world organizations of the West; from Judaism, Buddhism, Tenri-kyo, Shintoism, Islam, Jainism, Sikhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, traditional African Religions and Christianity, as well as various cardinals, archbishops and bishops. Also taking part will be representatives from episcopates of countries that are at war or racked by violence and terrorism - Algeria, Angola, Burundi, Colombia, Indonesia. Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Spain, Sri Lanka and Sudan - as well as civil authorities and a group of invited guests.

On January 25, the Pope will invite all the representatives who participated in the Assisi meeting to lunch in the Vatican.

Vatican Information Service
18. januar 2002

av Webmaster publisert 18.01.2002, sist endret 18.01.2002 - 16:41