An estimated 100,000 people filled St. Peter's Square late Saturday to pray for the situation in Syria after Pope Francis called for a grassroots movement for peace.
During the four-hour event the Pope spent most of the time in silent prayer. But when he did speak he issued a plea for peace. He denounced those who he says try to destroy God's creation through war.
"This evening, I ask the Lord that we Christians, and our brothers and sisters of other religions and every man and woman of good will, cry out forcefully: Violence and war are never the way to peace!" he said.
"May the noise of weapons cease!" he said. "War always marks the failure of peace, it is always a defeat for humanity."
The prayer vigil was one of the largest meetings to date against the proposed U.S.-led military action against the Syrian regime following a chemical weapons attack near Damascus.