FSSP sets August 1 day of prayer for persecuted Middle East Christians

Readers of this blog are encouraged to follow the initiative of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter in setting aside this coming Friday, August 1, as a day of prayer and penance on behalf of the suffering and persecuted Christians of Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere in the Middle East.

Via the blog sidebar of (non-FSSP) Father John Zuhlsdorf, here is a prayer for the suffering Church suitable for offering on August 1 or any time:

Grant unto thy Church, we beseech Thee, O merciful God, that She, being gathered together by the Holy Ghost, may be in no wise troubled by attack from Her foes. O God, who by sin art offended and by penance pacified, mercifully regard the prayers of Thy people making supplication unto Thee, and turn away the scourges of Thine anger which we deserve for our sins. Almighty and Everlasting God, in whose Hand are the power and the government of every realm: look down upon and help the Christian people that the heathen nations who trust in the fierceness of their own might may be crushed by the power of Thine Arm. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.  Amen.

Pause for peace

It comes as little surprise that global mania over the soccer World Cup has obscured grimmer news about the struggles of Christians, many of whom are struggling in poverty in the World Cup host nation of Brazil and ever more of whom are in mortal peril in Middle East wars.

In twenty-first-century style, a Twitter hashtag has been created for the purpose of conveniently asserting solidarity with the cause of peace.  During the World Cup final, users of the hashtag (one gathers) are supposed to make the V sign at an arranged time and then, presumably, to resume their viewing activities.

What would happen, one wonders, if some of us — however few or many — were to skip the World Cup final in part or entirely, and dedicate the time to prayers for peace before the Blessed Sacrament?

During a similarly perilous time for the civilized world in the year 1848, Pope Pius IX authorized an indulgence for the following prayer for peace.  While the indulgence is no longer in effect, the prayer, we think, is still worth a pause:

Da pacem, Domine, in diebus nostris: quia non est alius qui pugnet pro nobis nisi tu, Deus noster.
℣ Fiat pax in virtute tua
℟ Et abundantia in turribus tuis.
Deus, a quo sancta desideria, recta consilia, et justa sunt opera: da servis tuis illam, quam mundus dare non potest, pacem: ut et corda nostra mandatis tuis dedita, et hostium sublata formidine, tempora sint tua protectione tranquilla. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Give peace, O Lord, in our days; for there is none other that fighteth for us, but only Thou, our God.
℣ Let there be peace in thy strength, O Lord.
℟ And plenty in thy strong places.
Let us pray.
O God, from whom proceed all holy desires, all right counsels and just works; grant unto us thy servants that peace which the world cannot give, that our hearts may be devoted to thy service, and that, being delivered from the fear of our enemies, we may pass our time in peace under thy protection. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.