September 21, 2017

A reflection for the International Day of Peace

The International Day of Peace ("Peace Day") is observed around the world each year on Sept. 21. Established in 1981 by unanimous United Nations resolution, Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to peace above all differences, and to contribute to building a culture of peace. To help spread this message, the Catholic Health Association of the United States has developed a reflection.


“The International Day of Peace is a day on which we try to imagine a world quite different from the one we know. We try to picture those who wage war laying down their arms and talking out their differences. We try to picture all governments listening to -- and acting on -- the will of the people. We try to picture hatred turning into respect, bigotry turning into understanding, and ignorance turning into knowledge. And we try to picture the very root causes of conflict -- poverty, marginalization and greed -- giving way to development and justice. We do this because progress in our world does not happen without someone first having a vision or a dream.” 

- Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, September 10, 2001

As we reflect on this, the International Day of Peace, let us consider the following questions:

  • How do I contribute to a less peaceful world through word, action, or inaction? How do I contribute to a more peaceful world?
  • How do I support those who work for peace?
  • How shall I recall in thought and prayer those afflicted by the poverty and lack of hope which cause so much of our world’s violence? 

Let us pray: 

Good and gracious God, we ask you to make us, like St. Francis, instruments of peace.

For those who govern nations and people,

We ask you grant them wisdom; 

For those who are faithful to the struggle of justice, 

We ask you grant them fortitude; 

For those willing to explore the roots causes of conflict, 

We ask you grant them understanding;  

For the trust You place in us all to bring about Your peace, 

We express our gratitude. 

Today and always, let me be attentive to the many ways I am able to sow peace in the world. Amen.

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From its Cleveland headquarters, the Sisters of Charity Health System provides oversight, leadership and strategic direction to more than 20 organizations responding to community needs in Canton and Cleveland, Ohio, and South Carolina.

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