Yesterday I returned to Rome in the morning to begin the new school year. In the evening Pope Francis hosted a vigil for peace as a part of the worldwide day of fasting and penance for peace.
So, jet lagged as I may have been, I knew this would be something worth attending. And I was right, it was a beautiful and prayerful evening.
This event stood out to me in relation to other Papal events because of the spiritual attitude and atmosphere in the square, it was very profound.
I was not able to stay until the end because I was falling asleep standing up and starting to topple over, however I did make it through the Rosary, Litany, and the Pope’s homily.
As I reflected this morning about what made last night so different I came to the following conclusion: all of those present had the same purpose, peace.
So often with Papal Masses, Angelus prayers, audiences etc. many people attend for the sole purpose of seeing the Pope.
Last night was different, yes the Pope was present, and we were blessed to have him leading us in prayer, but the people weren’t there just to see him, they were there to pray for peace.
A beautiful and humbling way to return to Rome and kick off the new year.
Please join me, Pope Francis, and the whole Church in praying for peace, particularly in Syria and Egypt.