Young Sri Lankans respond to call for prayer, fasting, charity

Young people in different parts of Sri Lanka responded to the call of Pope Francis to pray, fast, and carry out works of charity on May 14. 

Kamal Fernando, from Colombo, works in the private sector. He learnt about the day through social and foreign media. 

He said it gave him the chance to get involved with the "wonderful intention and request by the Holy Father" to meet a "global need."

"This pandemic situation is very tough," Kamal said. "No one can predict what will happen the next hour," he told Asia News.

"This is a time of fear in which we can only hope in God’s help and that of our blessed Mother," he said.

Anushiya Kandasami, from Kandy, heard about the day from Verbum TV, a local Sinhala-language channel.

"Since the start of the lockdown, we pray for the end of the pandemic,” she said. “We warmly welcomed the pope's invitation."

People of all faiths were called to participate in the day of prayer, fasting, and acts of charity for the end of the coronavirus pandemic on May 14.

The activity was initiated by Vatican’s Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, formed in August under the auspices of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

The committee has earlier sent out an appeal for prayer in Italian, English, French, German, Spanish, Arabic, Pashto, Malay, Persian, Swahili, Turkish, Urdu, Chinese, and Hebrew.

Pope Francis accepted the committee’s proposal so that "believers of all religions will unite spiritually ... in a day of prayer and fasting and works of charity to implore God to help humanity overcome the coronavirus pandemic."