Peace Flash Mob of Youth for Peace in St. Mark's Square in Venice concludes the European meeting Global Friendship 2023. Next year in Berlin

PAIX, MIR, PEACE, SALAM. The posters with the word 'PEACE' in different languages in the unique setting of St Mark's Square in Venice are brightly coloured. A thousand young and very young people - high school and university students - from 13 European countries are raising them aloft with their hands. They are the Youth for Peace, a movement linked to the Community of Sant'Egidio, which is committed in the suburbs with children in difficulty, the homeless, the elderly, migrants. It has promoted solidarity holidays with refugees in camps in Greece and Cyprus in the summer.

Among them were 70 Ukrainian girls and boys from Kiev, Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk, who have travelled by bus for two days to join the Global Friendship meeting and testify to their desire for peace, first and foremost for their country, which has been ravaged by a terrible war for more than 18 months.
The International Meeting "Global Friendship for a Future of Peace" ended with a peace flash mob in St. Mark's Square, preceded by a visit to Venice and a festive Eucharistic liturgy in the St. Mark's Basilica. The 3-day event opened on Friday in Padua with a conference by Mario Giro on the theme "Global Youth: understanding our complex world", in which the former deputy foreign minister invited to " look with the heart" at conflicts and crisis situations in order to " draw up an atlas of peace" for our time. At the vigil for peace in the Basilica of the Saint, Cardinal Matteo Zuppi said that we must "disarm ourselves" when faced with the " 'greatest and most terrible evil' of war, fruit of so much wickedness and complicity".
"Peace depends on each and every one of us. It starts with me,' said the President of the Italian Episcopal Conference, Pope Francis' special envoy for Ukraine. 'Let us abolish war and weapons inside us and among ourselves. Let us be peacemakers who give peace to all'.
On Saturday in the plenary assembly "Everything can change"at the Padua Fair, Marco Impagliazzo, echoing Pope Francis at the World Youth Days in Lisbon, invited young people to 'step out of the labyrinths where we sometimes lose ourselves and wander aimlessly, and to walk the path of peace, whose clear points of reference are friends, words and the poor '. 'Sometimes we feel weak and frightened, because we think we can navigate the sea of life alone,' said the president of Sant'Egidio, 'yet if we unite with others and let peace into our hearts, we find the strength to meet everyone and to stand up for the dignity and liberation from all poverty and injustice for so many people.' A strong appeal was made to build a welcoming Europe and not to accept the deaths of migrants travelling through the Sahara desert and the Mediterranean, in an assembly attended by many young Syrians and Africans, who have arrived in Europe thanks to the Humanitarian Corridors. Many testimonies were shared after Impagliazzo's words. Young people told of their voluntary commitment with the most fragile and gave voice to their generation's hope for peace. Julia, a young Ukrainian refugee in Kiev, moved everyone: 'Sant'Egidio helped me when I fled with my family from the Donbass and now I have joined the Community. Helping others makes me forget my fear.'
The Youth for Peace will be meeting a year from now, between 27 and 29 August 2024 in Berlin