"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!" Francis said.

"May the noise of weapons cease!" he said. "War always marks the failure of peace, it is always a defeat for humanity."

Francis organized a day of fasting and the prayer as the U.S. moved closer to a military response in Syria. He appealed to the world leaders at this week’s G-20 meeting, according to the AP, urging them to abandon the “futile pursuit” of a military solution.