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Latin American youth light candles for peace during interreligious meeting


This was one of the highlights of the International Meeting of Prayer for Peace. The religious leaders, followed by young people from different parts of the world, lit these candles as a symbol of hope in the face of current difficulties.

Among the representatives from South America was Rosa. Besides bringing color and joy to the ceremony, with her traditional Peruvian outfit, she carried all the needs of Latin America in her heart.

ROSA MALLQUI
“It's a great responsibility. It's very emotional, especially in these difficult times we are living.”

Young people of different faiths participated in this event, a sign of unity in the face of a pandemic that sees neither social classes nor beliefs.

ROSA MALLQUI
Peruvian Pilgrim

“Now more than ever, it is important for all of us to be united. We won’t be saved alone. We will be able to save ourselves only by fighting and praying for each other.”

Besides Pope Francis, one of the most important figures who participated in the meeting was the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew. Katya tells how she was touched by his words and saw that despite their differences, the two religious leaders have many points in common.

KATYA ALVARADO
Peruvian Pilgrim

“I listened to the Orthodox leader, and I was delighted by his message. It was a prayer of so much unity, of so much love for Jesus.”

The event was organized by Sant’Egidio, a lay Catholic community that, based on Gospel teachings, promotes fraternity and voluntary work for the poor and for peace.

KATYA ALVARADO
Peruvian Pilgrim

“I have been here in Italy for two years, and I joined the Community of Sant’Egidio, which is a family for me. I feel very happy, very protected, and blessed by God to have found this great community.”

For the Sant’Egidio community, working toward peace is part of their mission to promote fraternity. This includes ecumenical work and interreligious dialogue based on the “spirit of Assisi,” the spirit that led John Paul II to meet with religious leaders in Assisi to pray together for peace.

Daniel Díaz Vizzi
Translation: Christian Campos