VATICAN CITY, JAN. 1, 2008 (<A href="http://www.zenit.org">Zenit.org</A>).- Benedict XVI recognized the efforts of various ecclesial organizations, and in particular the marches organized by the Community of Sant'Egidio, to promote the World Day of Peace.
The Pope said this today after praying the Angelus with the crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square on the World Day of Peace, asking all those involved to be "always and everywhere witnesses of peace and reconciliation."
"On the World Day of Peace," said the Holy Father, "there are innumerable initiatives promoted by ecclesial communities on all the continents. I express my appreciation to all the promoters of these events and to those who participate in them, encouraging them to be always and everywhere witnesses of peace and reconciliation.
"Greetings in particular to the organizers of the event titled 'Peace in All Lands,' organized by the Community of Sant'Egidio in Rome, and in many other cities of the world."
In a press statement, Sant'Egidio said that the marches seek to recall that all peoples "await the end of war, source of suffering for so many nations and 'mother' of all poverty."
Sant'Egidio reported that 380 marches took place in 65 countries on the World Day of Peace, and that an estimated 20,000 participated in the march in Rome. Other major cities that participated in the initiative included Buenos Aires; Madrid, Spain; Barcelona, Spain; Paris; Saint-Jerome, Quebec; Lviv, Ukraine; Lisbon, Portugal; and Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina-Faso.