Olympic Torch Symbol of Peace at Prescot

13 year old Niamh Peacock played a trumpet fanfare as the Olympic torch led the offertory procession at Our Lady and St Joseph’s, Prescot on Sunday 17 June.

Parishioners are taking part in ‘Your journey to Peace: 100 days of reflection and prayer’ around the London Olympics and the torch was carried to the symbolic peace candle and olive tree in the church.

Local teacher, Mike Dooling, was a torch bearer at Tatton Park at the end of May and is taking the torch to local churches and schools; earlier the same day he had visited St Bartholomew’s church in nearby Rainhill.

Parish Priest of Our Lady’s, Monsignor Anthony Dennick, said: ‘We were all delighted to be able to use the Olympic torch, a symbol of peace, in our offertory procession’.

One Hundred Days of Peace
Legacy for the 2012 Games

‘My peace I leave you, my peace I give to you’

Peace is Jesus’ defining gift and legacy. Can we make peace the legacy of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games?  The original Greek Olympics were preceded by a Sacred Truce, which enabled competitors to reach
Olympia without being attacked as they passed through the small warring city states of the Greek peninsula.  Peace was an original ideal of the Greek Olympics, and also of the Games revived in 1896 by Pierre de Coubertin.

The tradition of the 'Truce' or 'Ekecheiria' was established in ancient Greece in the 9th century BC by the signature of a treaty between three kings.  During the Truce period, the athletes, artists and their families, as well as ordinary pilgrims, could travel in total safety to participate in or attend the Olympic Games and return afterwards to their respective countries.  As the opening of the Games approached, the sacred truce was proclaimed and announced by citizens of Elis who travelled throughout Greece to pass on the message.

Its relevance today: taking into account the global context in which sport and the Olympic Games exist, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to revive the ancient concept of the Olympic Truce with the view to protecting, as far as possible, the
interests of the athletes and sport in general, and to encourage searching for peaceful and diplomatic solutions to the conflicts around the world.