Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Franciscan Family,

May the Lord give you peace!

As we are gathered together in the city of St. Francis on the occasion of his feast, we send you our heartfelt request to stay attentive to the issue of peace at this very difficult time for humanity. We want to express our deeply felt concern for peace, especially in the light of the suffering that has already been inflicted upon so many, and the risk that nuclear weapons could be used.

The Lord gave St. Francis a proclamation to be addressed to all, “May the Lord give you peace!” It has become an essential element of our charism. We welcome the gift of peace through the conversion of hearts. We ourselves are called to be meek, peaceful, modest and humble men and women, without quarrels or rivalry. Let us therefore be witnesses to the peace we have received.

“Nothing is lost with peace. Everything may be lost with war. May men once more begin to understand one another. May they once more talk to each other. If they deal with one another in good faith and with respect for reciprocal rights, they will realize that an honorable outcome is never prejudiced by frank and effective negotiations.” In 1939, Pius XII addressed this cry to everyone on the eve of the outbreak of World War II. Now, his words are dramatically relevant again. “Never again war!” exclaimed St. Pope Paul VI during his address to the United Nations. St. Pope John Paul II called war “an adventure without return.” On September 25, 2015, Pope Francis addressed the United Nations with an identical request: “No more war; war is the negation of all rights.”

Attentive to the signs of the times and these words from our charism and our pastoral leaders, we invite everyone to seriously and passionately take up the concern for peace, and to pray constantly for this precious gift.

Therefore, we ask that you join with the Franciscan Family in observing a special day of fasting and prayer on October 11, 2022. While with evil we see the mystery of immorality in action, we respond to it with penance and prayer, by promoting reconciliation and peace, and by raising awareness among ourselves and many others regarding this fundamental issue. In our formation and our preaching, in our various works and service projects, in proclamation and in daily life, may we promote peace and reconciliation with power and conviction.

Let us entrust this great and urgent prayer for peace to the Queen of Peace and to our humble and peaceful Saints Francis, Clare and Elizabeth. In closing, we offer you our best wishes and a fraternal embrace.

Assisi, October 4, 2022

Solemnity of St. Francis of Assisi, the Herald of Peace

Sr. Daisy Kalamparamban, AFBP,        Tibor Kauser, OFS,
Vice-President IFC-TOR                        Minister General

Friar Massimo Fusarelli, OFM,         Friar Roberto Genuin, OFM Cap.,
Minister General                                 Minister General

Friar Carlos A. Trovarelli, OFM Conv.,          Friar Amando Trujillo Cano, TOR
Minister General                                               Minister General,