Prayers in Dublin and Lourdes for peace in Syria
Following a call from Pope Francis for prayer and fasting for peace in Syria, up to 2,000 Dublin pilgrims will join in prayers for peace at Mass in Lourdes this weekend.
At the same time, an evening of prayer for peace will begin the St. Marys Pro-Cathedral in Dublin with Mass followed by Exposition, Benediction and night prayers. Prayers will also be said at Masses in individual parishes throughout the Diocese that evening.
The Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin will lead the Annual Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes starting on Saturday. Despite extensive flooding at the world famous Marian Shrine just over two months ago, the pilgrimage has gone ahead as planned with minimal changes to the itinerary.
The Dublin Lourdes pilgrimage is the largest in the country. Seven planes will leave Dublin airport from 6am on Saturday carrying sick pilgrims, doctors, nurses and volunteer helpers. Also taking part are almost 140 secondary school students from 23 different schools around the Archdiocese and their teachers. Such was the demand for a place on this year’s pilgrimage, the Diocesan Lourdes office was unable to facilitate everyone on a waiting list that had built up over recent weeks.
Pilgrimage Director Father Martin Noone, said all those on the pilgrimage would be bringing their prayers for those affected by the conflict in Syria to the welcoming Mass in St. Bernadette’s Church on Saturday evening. Fr. Noone said, “Lourdes is such a peaceful, prayerful shrine – our prayers, on the Vigil of her birth, will be to Our Lady Queen of Peace as we fervently hope that dialogue, peace and reconciliation will triumph in Syria over scenes of desperation and destruction.”
Bishop Eamonn Walsh will lead prayers at Mass in the Pro-Cathedral on Saturday 6pm uniting with Pope Francis, in Saint Peter’s Square. Following the Mass there will be Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament from 7.00 p.m., concluding with Night Prayer and Benediction at 10.30 p.m.
“I appeal strongly for peace, an appeal which arises from the deep within me. How much suffering, how much devastation, how much pain has the use of arms carried in its wake in that martyred country, especially among civilians and the unarmed! I think of many children will not see the light of the future! With utmost firmness I condemn the use of chemical weapons: I tell you that those terrible images from recent days are burned into my mind and heart. There is a judgment of God and of history upon our actions which are inescapable! Never has the use of violence brought peace in its wake. War begets war, violence begets violence”- Pope Francis, Sunday September 1st.
Further information: Annette O Donnell – 087 8143462