Bishop Patrick J. McGrath of the Diocese of San Jose has responded to a call by Pope Francis I for a day of prayer and fasting for peace in Syria by planning a vigil at St. Joseph’s Cathedral on Saturday, September 7, from 8:00 – 9:30 pm.
The Pope issued his call as part of his usual Sunday address to the people at St. Peter’s Square, saying:
I wish to make add my voice to the cry which rises up with increasing anguish from every part of the world, from every people, from the heart of each person, from the one great family which is humanity: it is the cry for peace! It is a cry which declares with force: we want a peaceful world, we want to be men and women of peace, and we want in our society, torn apart by divisions and conflict, that peace break out! War never again! Never again war! Peace is a precious gift, which must be promoted and protected.
The Pope condemned the use of chemical weapons, and called for a negotiated settlement of the civil war in Syria and relief for those suffering from the conflict. He called not only on members of the Roman Catholic church, but those of other churches “as well as to followers of every religion and to those brothers and sisters who do not believe” to commit themselves to making peace.
Saturday was chosen because it is the celebration of the birth of Mary, who is named “Queen of Peace.”
St. Joseph’s Cathedral is located at Market and San Fernando Streets in downtown San Jose.