“I ask the Lord to touch the hearts of all, that, looking only to the greater good of the so sorely tried Syrian people, they might spare no effort to reach as quickly as possible the cessation of violence and the end of the conflict, which has already caused too much suffering. I hope the dear nation of Syria will undertake with conviction the path of reconciliation, concord and reconstruction with the participation of all citizens, in which everyone can find in the other, not an enemy, not a rival, but a brother to welcome and embrace.” With these words, Pope Francis has called again for peace in Syria, to mark the International Conference for Peace in Syria, which was held in Montreaux (Switzerland), at the end of January.
The situation the country is going through is dramatic, as explained by archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, head of the delegation of the Holy See in the conference in Montreaux: “Thousands of people have been displaced and are facing a threat to their lives. Family life has been destroyed. The educational and healthcare structures have been destroyed or have become unusable. The war has brought the financial collapse of many regions in Syria.”
Despite this serious situation, with the number of victims reaching 100,000 last July (The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has stated that he won’t be updating the figures for now, due to the difficulty of obtaining data), the presence of the Franciscans in Syria, with 15 friars from the Custody of the Holy Land, represents a specific sign of hope. A hope that wouldn’t be possible if it was not supported, apart from by prayer, by the generous donations of so many benefactors.
The donations have allowed the friars in Syria to create 4 shelters that provide a place to sleep to nearly 1000 people, covering all basic needs (food, clothes and medicines) of a further 4000 and helping to find new homes for nearly 200 families every month, when their original homes have been destroyed by war.
There is still a lot to do, as the Custos of the Holy Land, Mr. Pizzaballa, highlighted: “I ask whoever can help, not just to pray, but to send some help. Not commodities, as they can’t get in, but the money that is needed to buy (unfortunately even in the black market) everything that so many families need to live, specially the poorest ones.”
Your help can really make a difference for the Syrian population. Click here to see some specific examples.
A gesture to support the activities carried out by the Franciscan friars, to help them keep alive the flame of faith in this Holy Land.