The melody of an ancient Syrian melody dedicated to Mary and Our Father recited in Arabic resounds throughout the basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere, where this morning many Romans, responding to the invite of the Community of Sant’Egidio, participated in the liturgy dedicated to prayer for peace in Aleppo – a Syrian city, symbol of coexistence of cultures and religion, victim of a voice that does not show pity to anyone, including the weakest, the sick, and children. There were a number of Syrian Christians present at the liturgy, originally from Aleppo, Homs and Damascus, who arrived in Italy in the past months through Humanitarian Corridors of Sant’Egidio and the protest and churches of Italy.
“We celebrate the feast of the assumption of Mary Celebriamo la festa dell’Assunzione di Maria with a restless and anxious heart,” said Don Marco Gnavi, pastor of the basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere. “And here, together with our Syrian brothers and sisters amongst us today, we turn our gaze to Mary, imploring salvation and leave for he city of Aleppo and all of Syria. At Aleppo, a city which is symbol of coexistence, the rare gem of a long history over the course of thousands of years, made of ancient relationships between Christians and Muslims, a city that has witnessed even a Jewish presence. Today people die in the easy as in the west, for the bombs, missiles, hunger, thirst, and most of all the indifference of those, even if they could, chose to not listen to the cry of the innocent and the appeals that Aleppo be spared. The Armenian bishops, Catholics and orthodox, of this city are at Santa Maria in Trastevere and have made us aware of the drama and tragedy in their community. But the global public has seen with its own eyes the remains of buildings, the anguish of the sick without medicine, the horror of hospitals targets of a hatred without restraint, a hatred so cynical to hit the unborn and maternity wards. We cannot resign in front of the suffering cry of Aleppo and we pray that the Lord shake and reawaken the consciences of the people, of leaders, of believe and that the siege of death that has killed Aleppo and all of her sons end.”