Monday 3rd December 2012
Catholics across England and Wales will remember the people of the Middle East in their prayers on Tuesday, 4 December, the Feast of St John Damascene. Conscious of the civil war in Syria and its impact on neighbouring countries, the Bishops' Conference 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' Conference members pray that the example of St John's life can inspire Christians, Muslims and Jews to work for reconciliation and justice.
Members and friends of the Personal Ordinariate may wish to make use of this prayer for peace from the new Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham:
Almighty God, from whom all thoughts of truth and peace proceed: kindle, we pray thee, in every heart the true love of peace; and guide with thy pure and peaceable wisdom those who take counsel for the nations of the earth, that in tranquility thy kingdom may go forward, till the earth is filled with the knowledge of thy love; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Customary, p. 684)