Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Catholics Pray for Peace in the Middle East

Water Seller in the Souk in Damascus before the conflict
Photo ©Mark Woods
Catholics across England and Wales will remember the people of the Middle East in their prayers on 4 December 2012, the Feast of St John Damascene. Conscious of the civil war in Syria and its impact on neighbouring countries, the Bishops of England and Wales at their recent plenary meeting decided on a day of prayer as one sign of solidarity with the people of the region.

As a priest and Doctor of the Church who was born in Damascus (Syria) in 675 and died near Jerusalem about 749, St John Damascene’s feast day was chosen because it links the early Church with the living community of Middle Eastern Christians and their vocation as peace-builders. The bishops pray that the example of St John’s life can inspire Christians, Muslims and Jews to work for reconciliation and justice.

Prayer for Peace:
O God of peace, who are peace itself
and whom a spirit of discord cannot grasp,
nor a violent mind receive,
grant that those who are one in heart
may persevere in what is good
and that those in conflict
may forget evil and so be healed.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

St John Damascene, pray for us.
Prayer text from Roman Missal © 2010 ICEL

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