09/02/2013, 00.00
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Card. Gracias: Millions of Indian children in prayer with the Pope for Syria

by Card. Oswald Gracias
The president of the Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) responds to the Pope’s call for a day of prayer and fasting to end the Syrian conflict, which will be held on September 7. "Our children pray for their peers in Syria."

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - The Church in India is responding to Pope Francis appeal and September 7th will observe a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, the Middle East and throughout the world. Card. Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai and president of the Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) tells AsiaNews that on that day, the eve of the Nativity of Mary Queen of Peace, "the children, girls and all the youth of India will pray for their Syrian brothers and sisters", so that "through the intercession of Our Lady they may find the strength to have faith and not lose hope". Below, the cardinals complete reflection.

I am writing to  all our  Bishops in India  asking them to have the Day of Prayer and Fasting on the 7th Spet in solidarity with the Holy Father.  Also for Peace in Syria, Middle East and All over the World and Peace in our own country.

On the 7th Septemebr  India's almost 2 million Catholic faithful will be  in solidarity  with the Holy Father Pope Francis, and the Universal Church pray and fast for the suffering s in Syria- the peoples in Syria as they face potentially pernicious situation, which could have damaging consequences.  War and violence is never an answer anywhere and anytime.  Violence only begets violence and all are aware that the innocent, the poor and the marginalized have always to face the worst brunt of these man-made catastrophes.

Our beloved millions of children of India  will offer prayers  for the children of Syria on 7th Sept 2013 in response to the Holy Father's  appeal.

Today's fourth day of the novena in preparation of the  Feast of the Nativity of Mary and Catholic children of India, bring flowers and candles to offer to our Blessed Virgin Mary, singing sweetly songs of Praise to the Blessed Mother.  So this year, our children on the Vigil, special Prayers and Rosary and hymns of peace will be sung for the Children of Syria.

Our Syrian children, who are innocent victims, children are orphaned or lose their homes and are forced to seek refuge in other countries-these children will be the ones left to rebuild their lives and their country..we assure them of the love and prayers of the Children of India, who petition our and their Maternal Mary , who Sang the Magnificat. 

For  decades, the Church in Bombay,  celebrates girl child day, this year on the vigil of the Feast we pray for the girl child in Syria,  the women and mothers  in Syria and for the  thousands more are ripped from their homes and schools, left with painful memories of violence and confusion over what they've lost.   For the children of Syria, who  live in constant fear and uncertainty and have lost hope for the future- the children of India prayers for them

The Feast of the Nativity of Mary, is a very special day for the Church in India and for all people of Good Will.  A Novena precedes this great Feast, and  peoples of every caste and creed and people from all walks of life, attend the Novena services praying to the Mother of Us All- the Blessed Virgin.   Every Church, and chapel, Monastery and  Seminary, Novitiate and religious Institutions have Novena services, will now pray on the 7th Sept for the volatility in Syria as announced by the Holy Father Pope Francis

The overwhelming devotion of Mary in India .Mary is venerated, loved and petitioned by all generations and peoples in India .  The Maternal protection of Mary is sought by everyone

We all belong to the Mystical Body of Christ and their intense suffering of our Syrian, and the Church in India suffers intensely as we witness, current crisis the tragedy unfold in Syria, but will also have disastrous consequences for humanity as well.

India has a youthful face,  and our youth are agonising over the sufferings of the Syrian Youth, youth of Syria are losing their homes, their family members and their futures...our Catholic Youth in India, will have a Prayer Vigil for the youth in Syria,  that they may not loose HOPE, and through the powerful intercession of Mary, they have have reason to Hope

war and violence is never an answer anywhere and anytime.  Violence only begets violence and all are aware that the innocent, the poor and the marginalized have always to face the worst brunt of these man-made catastrophes.

Dialogue is the only way forward and peace negotiations are the only hope for avoiding yet another worst-case scenario of humanitarian crisis.

The Church in India intercedes also to our own Mother Teresa of Kolkata, and what she said in Beirut, Lebanon in 1982: "I have never been in a war before, but I have seen famine and death. I was asking (myself), 'What do they feel when they do this?' I don't understand it. They are all children of God. Why do they do it? I don't understand".


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