Prayers for Martyrs

While much of the Catholic and secular press have been focused on the recent Met Gala supposedly intended to celebrate the Catholic imagination’s contribution to fashion, much of the Catholic world has been suffering the murder of many priests and other Catholics in recent months. America magazine, published by the U. S. Jesuits, who printed no less than three articles about the Met Gala, did manage to find room for one article on the increase in killings targeting Catholic priests and lay faithful in four countries: the Central African Republic, Nigeria, the Philippines, and Mexico, including Catholics killed while celebrating the Eucharist.

Let us pray for these martyrs, and others like them in Egypt, China, India, Sudan, throughout the Middle East and in various other countries who face genuine persecution and even the threat of death. We in the relatively peaceful West are often accused of taking our freedoms for granted, and there are grounds for that accusation. Those who claim Christ in many countries cannot afford to do so. We pray that they remain firm in the faith and that the blood of these martyrs will prove the seed of the Church in these lands and in our hearts.

From the website of the Diocese of Orlando:

As we commit our prayers for and with those in our world who are deprived of religious freedom and those who suffer persecution, torture and death because of their faith, please consider offering one of the following intercessions, when possible, during the Universal Prayer at Mass or during prayer services offered on their behalf.

As we commit our prayers for and with those in our world who are deprived of religious freedom and those who suffer persecution, torture and death because of their faith, please consider offering one of the following intercessions, when possible, during the Universal Prayer at Mass or during prayer services offered on their behalf.

  • For those who are threatened by persecution, starvation and deadly violence because of their Christian faith…may they be strengthened by their faith in Jesus Christ and our solidarity with them.
  • That the God of light may inspire leaders of governments to uphold religious freedom and care for the well-being of all people, especially the poor and vulnerable.
  • For Christians throughout the world who are persecuted for the faith…may they be freed from fear and anxiety and strengthened in their courageous witness…and may peace come to their troubled lands.
  • For those who have suffered violent death because of their faith…may they now live in the light of God’s face.

O God, who in your inscrutable providence will that the Church be united to the sufferings of your Son,  grant we pray, to your faithful who suffer for your name’s sake a spirit of patience and charity, that they may be found true and faithful witnesses to the promises you have made.  We ask this through Christ our Lord. (Collect for Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Occasions:  #19. For Persecuted Christians)

 “The blood of our Christian brothers and sisters is a testimony which cries out to be heard…It makes no difference whether they be Catholics, Orthodox, Copts or Protestants. They are Christians! Their blood is one and the same. Their blood confesses Christ.” —Pope Francis

 

Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.

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