Vatican Insider Staff
Muslims and Christians came together in St. Peter’s Square today and prayed using words from their own religions. Many described this as “the miracle” of Pope Francis’ ecumenical appeal during today’s fast and four-hour long vigil of prayer which broke the barriers of faith in an attempt to stop the war in Syria. 100,000 came to St. Peter’s Square in the late afternoon to join the Pope in his appeal for peace.
A silent ceremony, with flags from countries all over the world lining the sides of the square: from the Syrian flag to the Chinese and Argentinean one and the one depicting the rainbow of peace. The atmosphere was meditative and almost surreal given the presence of Syrians and Muslims in the square: according to Italy’s Arab community there were several hundred who attended. Some of them recited verses from the Koran as the sound of the Ave Maria rose from the lips of Catholics standing just metres away. A fusion of faiths and prayers in the spirit of peace.
But a wind of division blew across the Syrian community attending the vigil in St. Peter’s Square. A group which supports the ideology of the “rebels” moved away from the so-called “pro-Syrian people” group, and went to the other side of the square. “We fear infiltrators from the Syrian embassy, it’s best if we keep away,” they said. But for many others it was simply a moment of peace. Many Catholics called it “a sort of miracle performed by St. Francis.”