by Ricardo Flores – EoF staff

This past Good Friday (29th of March 2024), we had the marathon “Ask for Peace”, a call from the Economy of Francesco Community and all those who share values of Peace with us.
In this space we made a call, a demand, an expression for peace in this world, in the present conjuncture.

These days, every day, we have news of new conflicts, of the aggravation of the ongoing ones, with conflicts in Latin America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. It seems that the war has expanded to all the different places in the world, as a sickness that destroys everything on its way.

It is in this context that we decided to extend a call for peace, during a 12-hour marathon with readings, webinars, presentations and different types of expressions. We had the participation of more than 13 nationalities, from Indonesia to Costa Rica. We started in Bethlehem, Palestine, in the children’s hospital. This was a reminder that peace seems to be a luxury in these times, a luxury from which many children are being deprived. We stand in the call for peace, we understand peace not as a goal but as a process, as a right, as an evolving and ongoing path, we believe that it is in peace that we start living heaven in this world.

With the teachings of Saint Francis of Assisi, who lived, experienced and enjoyed this world and decided to leave it behind to focus on the victims, walk with the poor, and build a church based on humility and love, inclusion, and justice. With his spirit, the call of Pope Francis that lightened the spark that generated this community, the Economy of Francesco has had different calls for peace, making a stand against the injustices. Today, more than ever, the necessity of peace is the claim of our people, of our world.

During the Ask for Peace marathon, we had different lectures, from Charles Malik from Lebanon to Gabriela Mistral from Chile. Remembering the call for peace of Saint John Paul II and the tales against racism from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

We had two webinars: a first one with Barbara Schiavulli, a war correspondent and journalist, who illustrated to us the atrocities of war, the necessity of the truth and the importance of processes to build peace.

In the second webinar, we had panelists from Ginevra and Biagio, two young participants from the Rondine Program that presented their projects on peace: Ginevra with a project of intergenerational dialogue, and Biagio with the community gardens in rural spaces. To this panel joined Domenico, who told us about the investments in war and weapons, and Roberta, who shared with us the EoF Amboseli Mision.

During the lectures, we had a space for guided prayer and meditation to remember that for us to be able to do good, we need to be good with ourselves first, and that sometimes it’s important to take a step to the side and breathe.

The Ask for Peace Marathon lasted around 12 hours, and at the moment of the writing of this, it has already had more than 1,000 views on YouTube. We would like to make a stand and ask for peace, from our different spaces, with our words and the words of those who have worked for it in their time.

A time will come in which the future generations will ask “How could this happen?”, or “What did you do when this was happening?”.

Here in Economy of Francesco, we’ll be able to say we were asking for peace, we were inviting for dialogue, we were working for peace and towards peace.

The Economy of Francesco is the sum of the efforts of its participants, participants from all over the world, from different realities, with different perspectives, but with a shared horizon: a fairer future, an economy that places the Human Being at the center of the discussion. As the Business and Peace Village concluded in the EoF event in Assisi in 2022, a peace economy does not include weapons or profit-only maximizing businesses.

We would like to thank all of those who participated in the Ask for Peace Marathon, directly or indirectly, those who watched us on YouTube, those who read, and those who helped coordinate the event.

We would also like to thank our Community, because even in a world that seems to be lost, we don’t stop working from our square meter.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

Peace Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi