Assisi (Agenzia Fides) - The "Forgiveness of Assisi", the feast held on August 2, which is celebrated in the "Portiuncula", in the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, in Assisi will be dedicated to peace in the Middle East, especially in the Holy Land and the Gaza Strip. During the day, the faithful receive the plenary indulgence, according to a practice that dates back to St. Francis of Assisi, in the presence of thousands of pilgrims. As reported to Fides Agency, this year the Day will have a particular prayer intention: the end of war and hostilities in the Holy Land, said the bishop of the diocese of Assisi-Nocera Umbra-Gualdo Tadino, Mgr. Domenico Sorrentino, Friars Minor of Assisi.
The Bishop, who will preside over the Eucharistic celebration in the Basilica on August 2, said in a note sent to Fides: "The visit of Pope Francis in the Holy Land and especially the prayer he shared in the Vatican with Shimon Peres and Abu Mazen aroused many hopes. But disappointment continues, with the outbreak of the conflict in Gaza, once again with the outcome of deaths and rubble". The Bishop asks: "Has prayer also been defeated? In 1986, Pope John Paul II inaugurated the 'spirit of Assisi' as a prayer for peace. A prayer in which he raised his voice, shouting that God is synonymous with peace, and not war. And on October 27 we will collect that challenge in a meeting entitled 'The initiative of Pope Francis for peace in Israel: What future?' ". "On the occasion of the Feast of Forgiveness – adds Mgr. Sorrentino - we want to pray for just and lasting peace in the Holy Land. The call to prayer is also a call to conversion. Where reason is blinded and feelings embittered, only the Spirit of God can enter. The "spirit of Assisi" is more alive than ever and we – concludes Mgr. Sorrentino - want to invoke it for the Holy Land on the occasion of the Forgiveness of the Portiuncula". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 01/08/2014)