Cities for Life is observed on November 30th each year.  It is a worldwide movement to abolish the death penalty.  It began in Italy with the Community of Sant’ Egidio.  The Community’s Cornerstones are the Gospel, Friendship & Service to the Poor and a Commitment to Justice.  The Community of Sant’ Egidio was successful in abolishing the death penalty in Italy and have since been involved in efforts to end the death penalty in other countries.  Each year on November 30th, about 2, 000 cities in more than 80 countries celebrate the International Day of Cities for Life.  Most churches that take part do so by turning on all their lights and ringing the church bells at 7:30 pm.  Some parishes will have a holy hour or prayer service to coincide with the lights and ringing the bells. Here in St Augustine it was held The Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche at Mission Nombre de Dios on 102 San Marco Ave at 6:30pm.

The aim is also to make use of symbolic monuments and squares to hold educational and artistic events aimed at raising public awareness. All cities taking part in the initiative make their major monuments available as “living logos”, which “speak” with the help of special illuminations, thus becoming symbols of a commitment to hold a dialogue with the population aimed at achieving a world without the death penalty.

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