Message of Solidarity for the Friars Living in Sri Lanka

Bro. Cielito Almazan, OFM
Province of San Pedro Bautista
Manila, Philippines

Rome, May 2, 2019

Dear Bro. Cielito,

May the Lord give you peace!

I am writing to you in order that you might convey to Bro. Edward Jeyapalan, OFM and all our Friars in the Foundation in Sri Lanka our prayers and solidarity at this moment in the history of the country, the Church, and the Order.

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Since learning of the terrorist attacks against innocent civilians and Christians, Brothers from around the Order have offered prayers for the people of Sri Lanka, and most especially for the families most directly affected. They also have invited the Christians in the parishes, schools, and social centers where they are present to join this spiritual act of solidarity.

The Christian community of Sri Lanka has demonstrated to the world the power of Christ’s redeeming grace. We have listened to Christian families who, as they mourn their loved one, have offered forgiveness to the perpetrators in place of promoting hatred and revenge. This witness to the message of the Gospel speaks to every human being irrespective of his or her religious affiliation, and also to those who self-identify as non-believers. 

To Bro. Edward, the President of the Foundation, and to all of the Brothers of the Franciscan Foundation in Sri Lanka, may God bless you with courage, wisdom, patience, and fortitude as you accompany your people, offering them spiritual consolation in the midst of ongoing, sporadic violence against Christians. Please extend my special greetings to His Eminence Cardinal Malcom Ranjith, and to other members of the hierarchy where the Friars are in service to the local church as they provide spiritual guidance and promote the central values of the Gospel in the midst of suffering and sorrow. 

May the efforts of our Friars help promote a deeper spirit of dialogue and peace among all peoples of Sri Lanka, building bridges of understanding and harmony.

Fraternally yours in Christ and St. Francis,

Bro. Michael A. Perry, OFM
Minister General and Servant