Once upon a time, there was a flame. It had been burning for a long time, ever since the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Then on March 20th, 2019, the Vatican received the Earth Caravan Pilgrimage for Peace and Justice, a global interfaith organization. Pope Francis blew out a flame lit from the embers of the atomic bomb to foretell a future free from nuclear war and all weapons. News of this event made headlines around the globe.
Earth Caravan took the City of Nagasaki’s “Flame of Commitment” to Urakami Cathedral.* Following a special ceremony, the Flame of Hope was born. People of all faiths were invited to add their wishes and prayers for peace to the Flame, and then the Flame was taken to many different places of worship as well as to festivals and schools to add more prayers and wishes for peace to it.
Because more and more people from all over Earth added their wishes and prayers to the Flame of Hope, its power strengthened.
The Flame of Hope continues on its global pilgrimage. It is being carried by those who believe the world can change when the flame is lit in the hearts of children …
And on and on it travels …
One Earth — One Prayer — One Flame
On the Flame of Hope’s journey, the three flames mentioned below were added to it.
1)The Flame of Commitment was received by the City of Nagasaki from Greece in 1983. It burns to symbolize the vow that Nagasaki shall remain the last city on Earth to experience nuclear devastation and that there shall be no more atomic bomb victims.
2) The Flame of Peace from Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park was lit from three historic flames:
a) the legendary fire of Miyajima Island, which has been burning for 1200 years;
b) flames from all Japanese Buddhist traditions; and
c) the flame recovered from the bombing of Hiroshima that was used by all Japanese factories to restart production after World War II.
The Peace Flame from Yame city was taken from the burning embers of the Hiroshima atomic bomb in 1945. Tatsuo Yamamoto searched for his uncle in Hiroshima after the nuclear bomb was detonated. He never found his uncle’s body, but brought the embers from the devastation back to Hoshino village and kept the flame burning secretly for 38 years. When news of the flame reached the public, a Peace Tower was built in Hoshino village in Yame city and the flame has been burning there ever since.
*Urakami Cathedral was rebuilt after having been destroyed by a nuclear bomb in 1945.