ROME – For the first time in history, Muslim prayer and adhan would be heard in the Vatican city after Pope Frances invited Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and Israel’s Shimon Perez for a peace prayer.
"This is a moment to invoke God for the gift of peace. This is a pause in politics," Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, a Church official in charge of Catholic sites in the Holy Land and a key organizer of Sunday's encounter, told Reuters on Friday, June 6.
"This is also an invitation to politicians to pause and look heavenward," Pizzaballa told a Vatican briefing.
"Everyone wants something to happen, something to change. Everyone is tired of these eternal negotiations that never end…"
Francis issued the invitation to Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during his visit last week to Jordan and Al-Quds (occupied Jerusalem).
Abbas, Peres, and Francis will be joined by Jewish, Christian and Islamic religious leaders, a statement released by Peres’s spokesperson said, according to the Times of Israel.
The Vatican’s special event would be broadcasted to viewers across the world.
Francis is expected to greet Peres and Abbas separately at the Vatican hotel where he lives and have a brief one-on-one with each of the men.
The Pope will be joined by the spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, demonstrating a united Christian front for the event.
The four will then travel to a field in the Vatican gardens for the prayer ceremony divided into three parts as Jewish, Christian and Muslim.
Each faith group would be reading texts from their respect holy books, a prayer for forgiveness, and a prayer for peace.