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Rome Reports

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Pope and religious leaders pray for peace in square that was bombed during World War II

One of the last papal acts in Sofia was an inter-religious meeting to pray for peace, in the old Lenin Square, or the current Independence Square.

Orthodox, Jews, Protestants, Armenians Christians, Muslims and Catholics participated.

The place was very symbolic, as it was bombed during World War II.

First, came children with six lit lanterns, one for each confession present. 

Then, each religious representative recited a prayer for peace. 

The pope prayed St. Francis' prayer, "Make me an instrument of your peace." Then he gave a brief speech, the last one in Bulgaria.

He recalled that the love of God protects from selfishness and indifference, and helps to put the dignity of each person above selfish interests.

“Peace requires and demands that we make dialogue our path, mutual understanding our code of conduct, and reciprocal understanding our method and standard. In this way, we can focus on what unites us, show mutual respect for our differences, and encourage one another to look to a future of opportunity and dignity, especially for future generations.”

In addition to the prayers, children and young people sang to add music to the immeasurable value of peace and friendship. 

Despite the rain, many participated in the meeting. Among them was the prime minister of Bulgaria, who was in the front row.