Celebration of 800 Years of Encounter Between St. Francis of Assisi and Sultan Al-Kamil of Egypt Urges to Choose Way of Dialogue for Global Peace

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Lahore:  October 11, 2019. (PCP) “Atomic Weapons will never be needed and used if world leaders remain committed to Global Peace building”, said His Grace Archbishop Sabestian Francis Shaw, the Archbishop of Lahore, at the Celebration of 800 Years of Encounter Between St. Francis of Assisi and Sultan Al-Kamil of Egypt, organized by Rev. Fr. Francis Nadeem, Custos of Mariam Saddeeqa Capuchin Custody, Pakistan. The feast of St. Francis of Assisi was celebrated in the midst of threatening and growing conflict situation between India and Pakistan. Both the countries are atomic power and over Kashmir issue, the bone of contention between two, dozens are being killed every day.  Archbishop Sabestian said both the leaders; Indian Prime Minster Modi and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan need to choose the way of dialogue to establish peace and save the humanity.

Rev. Fr. Francis Nadeem, Custos of Mariam Saddeeqa Capuchin Custody, Pakistan, said as we celebrate 800 years of encounter between St. Francis of Assisi and Sultan Al-Kamil of Egypt, we have promised that we will become means of peace in our society like these great history-makers have shown us the way of dialogue.

The celebration of 800 years started by ringing peace bells, an act of unity and solidarity with International community of Europe. Recently, Archbishop Sabestian had returned from Belgium fro where he learnt that on the Feast of St. Francis on 4 October at 2 p.m. peace bells will be rung in 40 countries of the world. On his return to Pakistan, Archbishop Sabestian Francis announced in Pakistan and urged all the priests and faithful ring the church bells which will be for the intention of peace only. Before entering St. Mary’s Catholic Church all the priests, brothers and sisters and all the faithful lit peace candles as a sign of renewal of their commitment to peace building in the society. His Grace Archbishop Sabestian Francis, along with all the Capuchins of Pakistan released pigeons and white balloons in the air, sending a message of peace to the whole world, with a strong hope that peace is possible.

His Grace Archbishop Sabestian Francis presided over the Eucharistic celebration, concelebrated by Rev. Fr. Younas Shahzad OP, Vice Provincial of Dominican Friars; Rev. Fr. Khan Paulus, Provincial of OMI and Rev. Fr. Francis Nadeem, Custos of Mariam Saddeeqa Capuchin Custody, Pakistan. Rev. Fr. Clarence Hayat OFM Cap., highlighted the Spirituality of Dialogue in the light of historical encounter and dialogue between St. Francis of Assisi and Sultan Al-Kamil of Egypt. He said dialogue is possible even because it has the power of peace building.

The celebration of 800 years reached its climax when the Capuchin Brothers of Capuchin House Lahore presented a drama on historical encounter and dialogue between St. Francis of Assisi and Sultan Al-Kamil of Egypt. The drama was written and directed by Rev. Fr. Ashfaq Anthony OFM Cap, it was so full of patrons, the production, the cast and everything was so wonderful. Another new production was by Capuchin Youth Pakistan; Rev. Fr. Francis Sabir OFM Cap., wrote and composed a Franciscan Hymn which was sung by Capuchin Youth, Pakistan. All the participants felt renewed in their commitment to peace and dialogue.

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