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The Pope’s prayer intentions for 2013.

 

 

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The Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano published Pope Benedict XVI’s prayer intentions for the year 2013.

Highlights from the 2013 intentions include prayers for participants in World Youth Day, which is slated to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil during July of this year. Other intentions emphasize global respect for human life and the environment as well as specific prayers for the protection of families.

The Pope’s entire list of prayer intentions for 2013 is as follows:

January

General: That during this “Year of Faith” Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and joyfully bear witness to the gift of faith in Him.

Missionary: That the Christian communities of the Middle East, which frequently suffer discrimination, may receive the strength of fidelity and perseverance of the Holy Spirit.

February

General: That migrant families, in particular mothers, may be sustained and accompanied in their difficulties.

Missionary: That peoples experiencing war and conflicts may be the protagonists in the building of a future of peace.

March

General: That respect for nature will grow, with the awareness that all creation is the work of God entrusted to human responsibility.

Missionary: That bishops, priests and deacons may be tireless proclaimers of the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

April

General: That the prayerful and public celebration of the faith may be a source of life for the faithful.

Missionary: That the particular Churches in mission territories may be a sign and instrument of hope and resurrection.

May

General: That those who administer justice will always act with integrity and upright conscience.

Missionary: That seminarians, especially from mission Churches, may always be pastors according to the heart of Christ, fully devoted to the proclamation of the Gospel.

June

General: That a culture of dialogue, listening and reciprocal respect may prevail among the nations.

Missionary:  That in the areas where the influx of secularization is strongest, Christian communities may learn to effectively promote a new evangelization.

July

General: That the World Youth Day taking place in Brazil may encourage all young Christians to become disciples and missionaries of the Gospel.

Missionary: That throughout the Asian continent, doors may be opened to the messengers of the Gospel.

August

General: That parents and teachers may help the new generations to grow up with a upright conscience and a consistent life.

Missionary: That the particular Churches of the African continent, faithful to the Gospel proclamation, may promote the building of peace and justice.

September

General: That the men and women of our time, often immersed in noise, may resdiscover the value of silence and learn to listen to the voice of God and their brothers and sisters.

Missionary: That Christians who suffer persecution in numerous regions of the world may be prophets of the love of Christ by their testimony.

October

General: That those who feel weary from the heaviness of life, and even long for its end, may sense the closeness of God’s love.

Missionary: That the celebration of World Missions Day may make all Christians aware that they are not only recipients but also proclaimers of the Word of God.

November

General: That priests experiencing difficulties may be comforted in their sufferings, sustained in the doubts and confirmed in their fidelity.

Missionary:  That the Churches of Latin America may send missionaries to other Churches as a result of the continental mission.

December

General: That children who are victims of abandonment and of every form of violence may find the love and protection they need.

Missionary: That Christians, enlightened by the light of the incarnate Word, may prepare humanity for the coming of the Savior.

The Pax Christi Icon is off to Brazil.

O Risen Christ,

You breathe your Holy Spirit on us and you tell us: ‘Peace be yours’.

Opening ourselves to your peace -letting it penetrate the harsh and rocky ground of our hearts -means preparing ourselves to be bearers of reconciliation wherever you may place us. But you know that at times we are at a loss. So come and lead us to wait in silence, to let a ray of hope shine forth in our world.

Brother Roger, Taizé

For further information and excellent reading on Icons follow this linkhttp://reinkat.wordpress.com/2012/10/29/what-is-an-icon/

Fifty days before the Olympics 2012, I received this prayer card with the above prayer on the back.  Why do I mention the Olympics? The ancient 9th Century BC Greek tradition of Ekecheiria (“Olympic Truce”), calls for a truce during the Olympic Games to encourage a peaceful environment and ensure safe passage and participation of athletes and relevant persons at the Games.

Pax Christi is an international Catholic movement that promotes peace and they decided to use it over the 100 Days of Peace to promote their cause for peace. The idea of the Pax Christi International Icon comes from the work for peace and reconciliation in the Middle East.

A little background to the paining of Icons: In the Eastern Christian tradition an icon is the visible image of the Divine. The iconographer, who creates the icon, is instrumental in bringing about the spiritual process. The icon is the meeting of heaven and earth.

The Peace Icon is a sacred painting made at the Monastery of St John in the Desert, near Jerusalem, and given to the Pax Christi movement in 1999. Its panels represent scenes of reconciliation and figures associated with peace. Each aspect leads to meditation on the ‘deep movements of the heart necessary for peace and reconciliation’.  As part of a Pax Christi initiative, this Icon travelled to seven parishes in the Diocese of Southwark over the 100 days of Peace, and I am lucky enough to work in close proximity to one of the parishes who played host to the Icon. And what a spectacular Icon it is to see up close! Meditating on the stories chosen for this Icon I found my self ‘warmed’right-through and felt a sense of assuredness in the Bible that promoting Peace is the way to live.

It has two central pictures. At the top Esau and Jacob who are seen embracing and standing on a sword at the time of their reconciliation. (See Genesis: chapters 27,32,33) At the foot of the picture the title of the Icon, “ Christ our Reconciliation” is written in Greek. Latin and Hebrew.

Underneath, the risen Jesus is teaching the Our Father to the disciples in the heavenly Jerusalem. (See Revelation: chapter 21 and Joel: chapter 4:16-17)At the foot of this, the words of the Our Father are written in Aramaic the language which Jesus is thought to have spoken.

 Other pictures show the biblical stories of Sarah and Isaac, Hagar and Ishmael (See Genesis: chapters 16 to 21.), the woman at the well (See John 4: 1-42) and the Syro-Phoenician woman (See Mark: chapter 7: 24-30.).

The saints include: Mary Magdalene (See Luke: chapter 8: 2 and Mark chapter 16:9), St Sophia, St Clare, St Boris and Gleb, St Stephen (See Acts: chapter 7) and St Francis.

(I use this site to read the Bible when workng online: http://biblia.com/books/esv/article/TITLE. Easy to use.)

This Icon of of beauty, was handed over to the Brazilian community at a Mass this past Saturday at St. Georges Cathedral, as their home country begins preparations to host the Rio Olympics in 2016. Brazil. What a beautiful idea to pass on.

Image @http://www.rcsouthwark.co.uk/