A day of prayer for Eastern Christians

The Diocese has informed us about a new day of prayer for Eastern Christians (today), an annual event which is said to unite in prayer the West and the East of Catholic Christianity, one in their common faith and their communion with the Successor of Saint Peter in Rome. Also invited are other Christian communities of Europe, the Levant and Oriental Christians (Copts and Syrians) in the Horn of Africa and in India.

The poster that I have includes this quote from the Holy Father John Paul II:

“…the venerable and ancient tradition of the Eastern Churches is an integral part of the heritage of Christ’s Church, the first need for Catholics is to be familiar with that tradition…”

Pope John Paul II, pastoral letter Orientale Lumen

We do, of course, pray continually for peace in the world, according to the wishes of our Lady at Fatima and elsewhere, and especially in the Holy Land, where the Church was born. Our brothers and sisters in these and other troubled lands should be supported by us in prayer and otherwise in the continued profession of the ancient Faith in Christ.

Let me also introduce the new charity that I keep hearing about now: Fellowship and Aid to the Christians of the East (aka. FACE). Visit their website by clicking here and learn more about their work, which includes financial support of Christian communities in the East. They run projects in education, healthcare, and pastoral support, encouraging Christians desperate to find peace to remain in their ancestral homelands in the Holy Land, Syria and Babylonia.

Here’s a prayer we may use today, and I’ve lifted it from the poster:

Heavenly Father, we pray today for peace in the world, especially in the Middle East. By your heavenly grace, strengthen the faith and hop of Eastern Christians. May they be blessed with peace and prosperity in their lands. And may we be blessed with peace and prosperity in their lands. And may we be inspired by their devotion and witness to the Gospel, by their love and compassion for all in their communities, and by their courage, endurance and self-sacrifice against oppression. Through their charity, tolerance and friendship, bring peace and reconciliation to those troubled lands, where Christianity was born and first spread. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.