VISIT OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS TO BARI
ON THE OCCASION OF THE REFLECTION AND SPIRITUALITY MEETING
"MEDITERRANEAN FRONTIER OF PEACE"
Corso Vittorio Emanuele II (Bari)
Sunday, February 23 2020
Dear brothers and sisters,
while we are gathered here to pray and reflect on the peace and fate of the peoples bordering the Mediterranean, on the other side of this sea, particularly in the north-west of Syria, an immense tragedy is taking place. From our hearts of shepherds there is a strong appeal to the actors involved and to the international community, because it is silent about the noise of arms and weeps the tears of the little ones and the defenseless; to put aside the calculations and interests to safeguard the lives of civilians and the many innocent children who pay the consequences.
Let us pray to the Lord that he may move hearts and all can overcome the logic of confrontation, hatred and revenge in order to rediscover themselves brothers, children of one Father, who makes the sun rise on the good and the bad (see Mt 5:45). Let us invoke the Holy Spirit so that each of us, starting from the daily gestures of love, contribute to building new relationships, inspired by understanding, acceptance, patience, thus laying the conditions for experiencing the joy of the Gospel and spreading it in every environment of life. May the Virgin Mary, the "Star of the Sea" [Holy Mother of God] to whom we look as the highest example of fidelity to Jesus and his word, help us to walk on this road.
Before reciting the Angelus together, I warmly thank all the Bishops and all those who participated in this meeting on the Mediterranean as a frontier of peace; as well as those - and there are many! - who worked in various ways for its success. Thank you all! You have contributed to the growth of the culture of encounter and dialogue in this region so important for world peace.
Full Text + Image Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation