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28/7/2014 - RMG - The Rector Major asks the Salesian Family to respond to the Pope’s appeal with Hope and Faith

(ANS - Rome)- During Sunday’s Angelus, Pope Francis launched a new appeal for peace: "Remember that all is lost with war, nothing is lost with peace." The Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, has written to the Salesian Family about the importance of responding to the Pope's appeal with hope and faith.

Pope Francis recalled the hundredth anniversary of the First World War. The Great War "caused millions of deaths and immense destruction." It was a conflict, the Pontiff said, "that Pope Benedict XV called a 'senseless slaughter', and that ended after four long years, resulting in a fragile peace." Pope Francis hopes that "we do not repeat the mistakes of the past, but should take account of the lessons of history, and respond to the demands of peace through patient and courageous dialogue."

"We should remember that all is lost with war, nothing is lost with peace. I think especially of children, who are deprived of hope and of a future, of dead children and wounded children, of orphans and children playing in the aftermath of war who do not know how to smile. May there never more be war!"

These were the final words of the Pope which prompted the Rector Major to make an appeal to the whole Salesian Family:

My dear members of the Salesian Family, my dear young people:

Yesterday, the Holy Father made ​​a lively appeal, full of pain and faith and hope.I was touched by his final words, "It is time to stop. Please stop, I beg you with all my heart, please stop."  I am convinced that most men and women of good will in our world share this request.

What is certain is that everything is lost with war and everything is to be gained with Peace! Pope Francis made an explicit reference to children whose life has been destroyed and who are robbed of all hope. And while war is a tragedy and a horror for parents and grandparents, it is the end for children who are the most defenceless and who cannot understand what is happening.

Dear brothers and sisters at all points of the compass where the Salesian charism is present: allow me to ask therefore, that we join in this prayer of the Holy Father, that we pray with true faith that the Lord may touch all hearts, including the hearts of the people who can decide to put an end to the wars that are going  on at present. May God grant us the grace of being always bearers and builders of his peace. Let us pray that this great pain be converted into the New Life of the Risen Lord. We pray that we may always strive for peace and we pray for children and young people who suffer the most. May the Lord continue to let his hope shine upon us. A fraternal embrace.

Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major

Published 28/07/2014

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