All the missionary priests, seminarians, sisters and lay Third Order members of our Religious Family will be joining together on Sunday, December 23rd in a day of prayer for world peace, especially for peace in the Middle East. We invite you to unite your prayers and sacrifices with us for an end to violence and for the promotion of enduring peace and security.
To all men and women of goodwill:
Conscious of the fact that violence can never bring a solution to conflict, we have thought about the ardent prayer expressed by the Holy Father during his recent visit to Lebanon: “May God grant your country, Syria and the entire Middle East the gift of peace in the hearts of all, the silencing of all armament and the end of all violence.” (Pope Benedict XVI, in the Angelus prayer on September 16th, 2012).
Many of the members of our Religious Family during these last few months have manifested their desire to in some way give effective help in order to build peace in the lacerated lands of the Middle East. Our missionaries have offered up prayers and sacrifices, maintained their presence in these countries of conflict and have provided material help to sustain the suffering, especially the Christians. At the same time we have received recently a request that we “dedicate an entire day to pray in a special way, as a Religious Family, for peace in the world, especially in Syria and the places of the Middle East that are in conflict. On this day all the priests could offer the Holy Mass for this intention, and the religious, members of the Third Order and all those who would like to join in could offer what they do (prayers and other activities/sacrifices), for this cause”. Both general governments of the IVE and the SSVM have decided to take up this request and make it our own. We want to add to the intention prayers for the strength and safety of all our missionaries who are located in these countries in conflict.
Trusting in the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ who promised that “if two of you on earth agree to ask anything at all, it will be granted to you by my Father in Heaven” (Mt. 18, 19), we want to propose as a date for this day of prayer for peace Sunday the 23rd of December. On this day, all of our communities and individual members will unite in prayer in order to plead from Heaven the priceless gift of peace, in the Hope that the celebration of Christmas can be lived in serenity for all men and women of good will.
We put this intention especially in the hands of Mary Most Holy, Mother of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.