August 17 – Day of Prayer for Peace in the Middle East and Iraq
In solidarity with Pope Francis and the United States Bishops, Bishop McGrath asks all Catholics in the Diocese of San Jose to observe a day of prayer this Sunday for peace in the Middle East and Iraq.
Christians and other faith communities in Iraq have faced the destruction, burning, and looting of churches, homes, and businesses. Many have been threatened by the Islamic State (ISIS) to join their extremist brand of Islam, flee for their lives, or risk torture or death.
Pope Francis has called for peace in Iraq and has written directly to the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, placing before him “the tears, the suffering, and the heartfelt cries of despair of Christians and other religious minorities of the beloved land of Iraq.” Earlier this year, Pope Francis called for dialogue in order to achieve peace in Iraq, saying, “violence generates more violence; dialogue is the only path to peace.”
The U.S. Bishops have also written to President Obama, urging him to work with the international community toward lasting peace in Iraq and especially to end the violence there toward Christians and other religious and ethnic minorities.
If you are able to, please include in your Sunday intercessions an intercession for peace in Iraq and the end to violence there, if you have not already been including one.
In addition, Bishop McGrath shares with you a prayer by the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Iraq, His Beatitude Louis Rafael Sako, for his country of Iraq. We ask you to share and use this prayer as you are able at your Sunday Masses this weekend, either as a prayer read before Mass or as a prayer included in the homily. Spanish and Vietnamese versions of this prayer are available here.
If you are unable to include this prayer this weekend, please try to include it in the following Sundays. Please also consider including it in your own personal prayer and gatherings with other Christians.
the plight of our country
is deep and the suffering of Christians
is severe and frightening.
Therefore, we ask you, Lord,
to spare our lives, and to grant us patience
and courage to continue our witness of Christian values
with trust and hope.
Lord, peace is the foundation of life;
Grant us the peace and stability that will enable us
to live with each other without fear and anxiety,
and with dignity and joy.
Glory be to you forever. Amen
His Beatitude, Louis Rafael Sako,
Chaldean Catholic Patriach of Iraq
For more information, please contact Diana Macalintal:
DMacalintal@dsj.org or 408-983-0136