International Day of Prayer for Eastern Christians

The annual International Day of Prayer for Eastern Christians enables Eastern and Western Christians to come together in prayer during Easter. The event unites the Roman Catholic Church in Europe with the Eastern Catholic Churches in union with the Bishop of Rome.

The Day of Prayer for Eastern Christians will take place on 22 May 2022 (Sixth Sunday of Easter), with the participation of Christians from all over Europe, the Middle East, the Horn of Africa and India.

Why this date?

Sunday after Sunday, during the Easter celebrations, Eastern and Western Christians hear the Acts of the Apostles which witness to the first preaching of the Gospel. These readings remind us of the origin of the Eastern Churches and the history of the first Eastern Christians, who brought the Gospel to us. Nowadays, many of these Eastern Christians are oppressed and persecuted, and struggle to survive and to pass on our faith to their children, in their own lands where Christianity was born and first spread.

Communion through prayer

On the Sixth Sunday of Easter, we invite Western Christians to recite the following bidding prayer for Eastern Christians:

Let us pray for peace in the world, especially in the Middle East. May the Christians in these lands be strengthened in their faith so that they may continue courageously to give witness to Jesus Christ. 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, we pray today for peace in the world, especially in the Middle East.

By your heavenly grace, strengthen the faith and hope of Eastern Christians.

May they be blessed with peace and prosperity in their lands.

And may we be inspired by their devotion and witness to the Gospel, by their love and compassion for all in their communities, and by their courage, endurance and self-sacrifice against oppression.

Through their charity, tolerance and friendship, bring peace and reconciliation to those troubled lands, where Christianity was born and first spread.

Through Christ our Lord.

Amen

Message from His Eminence Cardinal Michael Fitzgerald

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I am very happy to announce to you that the next annual International Day of Prayer for Eastern Christians will take place on Sunday 22 May 2022 (Sixth Sunday of Easter), with the participation of Christians from all over Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, the Horn of Africa and India.

The Day of Prayer – organised by Fellowship and Aid to the Christians of the East (FACE) and Oeuvre d’Orient, in partnership with the Congregation for Oriental Churches – offers Eastern and Western Christians an opportunity to be united in prayer during Easter.

It also offers us in the West an opportunity to think of the Eastern Churches and to give thanks to God for all that we owe them: the first preaching of the Gospel, the origins of the monastic tradition, the early Church Fathers, and above all the witness of the Eastern Christians down the centuries, which has been, and still is, an inspiration to our faith.

In commending this Day of Prayer to you, may I suggest that you bring it to the attention of your family and friends, perhaps sharing with them the following prayer:

Heavenly Father, we pray today for peace in the world, especially in the Middle East. By your heavenly grace, strengthen the faith and hope of Eastern Christians. May they be blessed with peace and prosperity in their countries. May we be inspired by their devotion and witness to the Gospel, by their love and compassion for all in their communities, and by their courage, their endurance and self-sacrifice. Through their charity, tolerance and friendship, bring peace and reconciliation to those troubled lands, where Christianity was born and first spread. This we ask of you through Christ our Lord. Amen.

I trust that this Day of Prayer will bring comfort and assurance to Eastern Christians. In our solidarity and communion, may we all be renewed by the hope we place in the Risen Christ.

With the assurance of my prayers and with my warmest wishes for a joyful celebration of Easter,

Yours in Christ,

Michael Cardinal Fitzgerald, M.Afr.

Support

Fellowship and Aid to the Christians of the East – FACE

To donate to FACE’s projects in education, healthcare and pastoral support which enable Eastern Christians to remain in their homelands by:

Texting DAYOFPRAYER to 70450 to donate £10 (*Texts cost £10 donation plus 1 standard rate message)

Or online donation at:
https://app.donorfy.com/form/PPYHLF9549/85G2G