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Step No. 1 - As originally stated and published
14 Sanctify ye a fast, call an assembly; gather together the ancients, all the inhabitants of the land into the house of your God: and cry ye to the Lord:
17 Between the porch and the altar the priests the Lord's ministers shall weep, and shall say: Spare, O Lord, spare thy people: and give not thy inheritance to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them. Why should they say among the nations: Where is their God?
Step No. 2 - As stated and published
b. Godlessness [this is a more comprehensive term than Communism] will engulf the world and the
Church will be ruthlessly and brutally persecuted with the objective of destroying it.
[Luke 21:9-10, Joel 1:5-7, 10-12, 19-20, Revelations 18:2-20]
(2) At this opportune time, I ask Catholics to make next Dec. 14 a day of fasting, during which to pray with fervor to God so that he will grant the world a stable peace, based on justice, and make it possible to find adequate solutions to the many conflicts that trouble the world. May what is saved from fasting be placed at the disposal of the poor, especially those who at present suffer the consequences of terrorism and war.
I would also like to announce that it is my intention to invite the representatives of the religions of the world to come to Assisi on Jan. 24, 2002, to pray for the surmounting of oppositions and the promotion of authentic peace. In particular, we wish to have Christians and Muslims come together, to proclaim before the world that religion must never be a reason for conflict, hatred and violence. Whoever really accepts the word of the good and merciful God, cannot but exclude from his heart every form of rancor and enmity. In this historic moment, humanity needs to see gestures of peace and to hear words of hope. [Quoted from ZENIT.ORG - The World Seen From Rome - Code: ZE01111803 - Date: 2001-11-18 - Papal Address Before Angelus - John Paul II Invites Believers to Prayer and Fasting for Peace]
After the grievous terrorist attacks in the United States of America on 11 September, the Holy Father has on a number of occasions deplored such violence and expressed his concern for the consequences of the military action taking place in Afghanistan. The Church prays and invites everyone to ensure that love will prevail over hatred, peace over war, truth over falsehood, and forgiveness over revenge.
More than two months after the attacks of 11 September, the situation remains serious, tension is very high, and people everywhere are still greatly distressed. For this reason, at the Angelus Prayer of 18 November 2001 His Holiness asked that "for Catholics 14 December be a day of fasting, during which they should pray fervently that God will grant the world a stable peace, based upon justice".
He added that it was his intention "to invite representatives of the religions of the world
to come to Assisi on 24 January 2002 in order to pray for an end to hostilities and the
advancement of true peace". Responding to this pastoral initiative by the Holy Father, this Note
seeks to offer some thoughts on Christian fasting (14 December 2001), as well as on aspects of the
Prayer Vigil of 23 January and the Pilgrimage of Prayer of 24 January 2002). Some practical
suggestions are also given as to how these days might best be benefited from.
Clarified on May 1, 2014. European Union
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