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International Day of Peace Calls for Unity, Prayer
International Day of Peace is September 21. This day was established by the United Nations in 1981 and it brings education and awareness to help end global conflicts.
A prayer service was held at Holy Family Church across from the United Nations building on September 16 on the occasion of the opening of the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly. Many ambassadors, representatives of religious traditions and guests were invited. Addressing those gathered were His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, the Most Reverend Francis A. Chullikatt, Apostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer to the Holy See, His Excellency ---- Ban Ki-moon, Secretary of the United Nations, and His Excellency John Ashe from Antigua and Barbuda, the President of the Convened Session, who quoted the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi which begins: “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace, where there is hatred, let me sow love.”
Father John Keane Franciscan, SA, Friar of the Atonement, also attended the prayer service where prayers for the leaders of the nations were offered so they may be strengthened in their resolve to work for peace and justice.
The U.N. General Assembly is the chief deliberative, policymaking organ of the United Nations, comprised of all 193 members of the United Nations. It offers a forum for multilateral discussion on a full spectrum of international issues as mandated by the United Nations Charter
Keane said, “The U.N. is a most capable instrument for promoting peace in the world.” He feels the ceremony made him realize the great potential the U.N. has in seeking peace through prayer. “Prayer is an all embracing kind of action”, he continued, “that includes not only the religions of the world, but also the nations of the world initiating together energy to impact peace in the world.”
This year’s U.N. Peace Day goal is to engage larger numbers of people around the world in an awareness of the dire need for peace, especially in Syria, and to introduce the practices of Peace Building, which includes cultivating in the hearts of people an active care for the world as global citizens. Organizers of International World Peace Day are asking for a global moment of silence for peace at 12:00 noon on Saturday, September 21.
“It is important to bring people together for a moment of silence so that they may have a feeling of global unity,” said Keane. “This is a Franciscan approach towards harmony and reconciliation. By encouraging people to come together through a moment of united prayer, we can help the United Nations do its work of promoting peace and justice in the world.”
Page Updated Last on: Sep 20, 2013