23 Jul St. Francis is invoked in the search for Peace in Syria
On Monday July 22nd, Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development, accompanied by Cardinal Mario Zenari, Apostolic Nuncio in Syria, and by the Undersecretary of the said Dicastery, Fr. Nicola Riccardi, met with President Bashar Hafez al-Assad in Damascus. During the meeting, the Cardinal Prefect presented a letter from the Holy Father to the Head of State which expresses the profound concern of His Holiness Pope Francis regarding the humanitarian situation in Syria, with particular reference to the terrible conditions faced by the civil population in Idlib.
Franciscan friar Nicola Riccardi is a professor at the Pontifical University Antonianum where he is involved in a project that studies, researches, promotes and teaches integral ecology. His presence at the meeting is a reminder of the day-to-day presence of the Franciscans in Syria and in the Middle East, working for reconciliation and peace in often unnoticed ways.