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Praying for Peace on International Day of Peace

September 13, 2021

From the Office for Social Ministry

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” - Matthew 5:9

Ever since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, the United Nations has declared September 21st as the official International Day of Peace. It is a special time to observe at least 24 hours of continuous non-violence and cease-fire around the world. As we commemorate and remember the lives lost and sacrificed 20 years ago both in New York and Pennsylvania, our need for unity, hope and healing is even greater than before.

The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church states, “Before being God’s gift to man and a human project in conformity with the divine plan, peace is in the first place a basic attribute of God: ‘The Lord is peace’ (Jdg 6:24). Creation, which is a reflection of the divine glory, aspires to peace. God created all that exists, and all of creation forms a harmonious whole that is good in its every part.” 

A few of our Catholic parishes and schools around the Diocese, including St. Catherine parish and school on Kauai, have erected Peace Poles on their properties. The Peace Pole bears the message, “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in different languages and is an internationally-recognized symbol of the hopes and dreams of the entire human family, standing vigil in silent prayer for peace on earth. 

Every New Year’s Day, our Holy Father delivers his special message marking the World Day of Peace, a tradition begun by Pope Paul VI in 1967. This year Pope Francis marked the 54th World Day of Peace with a message entitled, A CULTURE OF CARE AS A PATH TO PEACE: “In many parts of the world, there is a need for paths of peace to heal open wounds. There is also a need for peacemakers, men and women prepared to work boldly and creatively to initiate processes of healing and renewed encounter.” To read the Pope’s message in its entirety, click here.

To celebrate International Peace Day in Hawaii, please consider joining the Ring Your Bell for Peace Celebration with special guest appearances by Jake Shimabukuro and Melveen Leed singing “Let there be Peace on Earth.” We also ask you to consider including these petitions for upcoming Prayers of the Faithful to promote peace both on January 1, September 21 and every day as we stand in solidarity, working and praying for world peace.