World Day of the Poor Novena – Day 1

On the first of nine days of prayer and readings, we pray for those who experience mental anguish.

For those who experience mental anguish

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen


The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff—
they comfort me.
Psalm 23

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.

Christ was sent by the Father ‘to preach good news to the poor…to restore the broken-hearted’ (Luke 4:18), ‘to seek and to save the lost’ (Luke19:10): in the same way the church surrounds with love all who are afflicted with human infirmity, indeed in the poor and suffering it recognises the face of its poor and suffering founder, it endeavours to relieve their need and in them it strives to serve Christ.

Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, 8

Scripture Reading

Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.” Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength. In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground.
Luke 22: 41-43

Jesus knew mental anguish in his earthly life. After the last supper with his disciples, he prayed alone in the garden of Gethsemane in a state of heightened mental distress. He knew he was about to be arrested and subjected to humiliating trial and excruciatingly painful execution in public.

Jesus knew the depths of the human condition, the places of mental and spiritual darkness. He is with us in our deepest anxiety. We pray for those whose lives are not flourishing because of mental illhealth and anxiety of all kinds. We pray for an understanding of their needs, for an understanding of our own fragility, for the grace not to judge, but to offer support and friendship whenever we can.

Loving Father
your risen Son sent us out
into the world as ambassadors
for the kingdom of God;
inspire us with your Spirit
of compassion, justice and truth
to declare the Good News
to those who are poor, to work
for the relief, defence and liberation
of all who are trapped
in oppressive circumstances.
We make this our prayer
through Christ our Lord.


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