The news has circulated around the world for some time now that on Saturday May 12th the "Lamp of Peace of Saint Francis" will finally be given to the one who, especially in Europe, "has distinguished herself in the work of reconciliation and the peaceful coexistence among peoples". To receive the award on May 12th, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, will be at the Sacred Convent, together with Juan Manuel Santos, President of the Republic of Colombia.  This same award was presented to Santos in 2016 for "his effort made in the processes of reconciliation with FARC”, the rebel army operative in his home country, a work that also earned him the Nobel Peace Prize that same year.
The event included two especially important moments: in the Upper Basilica, where the lamp delivery ceremony took place and where Chancellor Merkel addressed the assembly; the second, in the Papal Hall, where 300 young people from all over the world proposed questions to Merkel and Santos about the future  of next generations.
This award is "A gift that we hope will nurture the spirit of the rulers, encouraging them ever more to the search for the common good, and the development of relationships among peoples, based on certain principles, such as the care of our common home, sharing, and integration”, emphasized Father Mauro Gambetti , Custos of the Sacred Convent at the Basilica of St. Francis.  “Europe, we know, still has a long way to go to reach a possible 'plural unity'.  Europe has to deal with the lights and shadows of its history as well as its internal and external differences, learning to welcome the other and to overcome differences

Next year is the 8th centenary of the meeting of Saint Francis with the Sultan Al-Kamil in 1219, a significant celebration not only from a historical point of view, but also having a current perspective for the purpose of interreligious dialogue. The documentary film, The Sultan and the Saint (U.S.A. 2016) by director Alex Kronomer was screened on Friday May 11th in the Sala Romanica of the Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi.
The Director, Alex Kronomer, and Patrick Carolan, Executive Director of the Franciscan Action Network, were present at the viewing. A moment of discussion and dialogue with Mr. Kronomer after the showing was moderated by Fr. Silvestro Bejan, teacher of Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue at the Theological Institute of Assisi

The Bishop of Assisi with the Franciscan Families and the entire Diocese,

the Mayor of Assisi with the public institutions and various associations of the City,

the Tavola della Pace (Table for Peace),Rete della Pace (Network for Peace),

invite you to:

A Day of Prayer and Reflection

for peace in SYRIA

Friday, April 27, 2018

In order that the weapons cease and the dialogue reopens

for this reason, with Franciscan humility, we feel authrorized to send an

Open letter to

António Gutierrez

Secretary-General of the United Nations

What has happened recently worries us a great deal. We have been powerless for many years in the face of the "slaughter of the innocent" that continues to occur in Syria, a paradigmatic conflict of war carried out for personal interest, money, resources, and the domination of others. The sufferings and the grief that international bodies such as the World Health Organization have documented in

Ghouta and Douma strongly challenge our consciences and forbid us to remain indifferent and silent in the face of such great hatred, which only destroys life, especially the lives of the littlest ones who pay the greatest price.

We want to give voice to the pain of the many victims, especially children, that clamors for 
pity and peace; at the same time we are asking for an end to the conflict between the parties that seems to know only the path of violence, employing conventional weapons or even those banned by
international treaties. On the basis of this same international jurisprudence, as well as the faith that animates us, we believe that the violence can not be stemmed by further interventions that only cause an escalation of the armed conflict and are certainly not in the interests of justice and the protection of the innocent.
 
The city of Assisi, which has as its vocation the promotion of peace and has been in the past a protagonist for fraternal gestures, yet again desires to serve as an instrument of peace. Assisi wishes to offer hospitality within its own sacred space, which resounds with Franciscan humility, for encounters of mediation in order to foster a dialogue among all the parties involved in the Syrian conflict, hoping t end the atrocious sufferings to which so many defenseless citizens have been subjected for so long.
 
We address you, Secretary General Gutierrez, in order to overcome the ‘logic of the veto’ and thus ensure the presence of important UN personnel on this territory concerned with the protection ofpopulations, the access to humanitarian aid, and especially the welfare of children.
 
We wish to inform you that on the 27th of every month the ecclesial community of Assisi proposes to believers of every faith to gather in prayer in order to ask for the gift of peace, in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi who offered to each person he met the invocation: "May the Lord give you peace". This monthly initiative is an echo of what Saint John Paul II proposed on October 27, 1986, when he convened in Assisi the representatives of the world's religions. That event did not remain 
 
On April 27th the communities will gather in Assisi and in many other parts of the world to implore the gift of peace from the one God, for SYRIA and for the many other areas of conflict in the world. We trust that all humanity shares in this desire for peace and brotherhood. With profound gratitude and also grateful for what we wish to accomplish, we give you a cordial greeting of ‘peace and every good’ from the City of St. Francis and St. Clare, witnesses and makers of of peace still today. 
 
 
Domenico Sorrentino                                                                                        Stefania Proietti
Bishop                                                                                                               Mayor                                                                                                                                          
 
 
 

Mauro Gambetti, Custode del Sacro Convento OFMConv

Claudio Durighetto, Ministro Provinciale OFM Matteo Siro,

Ministro Provinciale OFMCapp Angelo Gentile,

Ministro Provinciale T.O.R. Ivana Stella,

Ministro regionale OFS Le sorelle Clarisse di Assisi Tonio dell’Olio,

Presidente della Pro-Civitate Christiana e della Commissione “Spirito di Assisi”

Flavio Lotti, Tavola della Pace Sergio Bassoli, Rete della Pace

Assisi 14 aprile 2018

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