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Pope Francis announces day of fasting, prayer for Syria

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06:48 PM September 1st, 2013

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September 1st, 2013 06:48 PM

Pope Francis AP

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis is asking people to join him next weekend in a day of fasting for peace in Syria.

Francis invited people of all faiths to join him Saturday evening in St. Peter’s Square to invoke the “gift” of peace for Syria, the rest of the Middle East and worldwide where there is conflict.

Declaring “no more war,” Francis spoke to tens of thousands of people gathered in the square on Sunday.

He says the “world needs to see gestures of peace and hear words of peace.” He says that only dialogue, and not armed intervention, can end Syria’s civil war.

The five-hour-long prayer vigil in the square Saturday will last until midnight.

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