(Phrases in quotes in the prayers have been sent to Aid to the Church in Need from people in Syria. Some of the authors are named, others must remain anonymous.)
Prayer and Intercession for Peace in Syria
God of Compassion,
Hear the cries of the people of Syria
Comfort those who suffer violence
Console those who mourn the dead
Give strength to Syria’s neighbouring countries to welcome the refugees
Convert the hearts of those who have taken up arms
And protect those who are committed to peace.
God of hope,
Inspire leaders to choose peace over violence and to seek reconciliation with their enemies
Inflame the Universal Church with compassion for the people of Syria
And give us hope for a future built on justice for all
We ask this through Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace and Light of the world.
Sixth day: Inspire within the universal Church compassion for the Syrian people
Today we pray especially for the Christian minority in Syria (5.2%). After the Synod on the Church in the Middle East (2010), Christians wanted to be active witnesses of the Gospel in the heart of the Judeo-Islamic world. … Violence has quickly suffocated the fruits of this synod in many countries.
The Christian minority is always in a fragile situation, in an ambiguous status quo: “In the conflicts in the Arab world, Christians generally maintain neutrality: They are not with the government, nor with the opposition. … Because of this, they end up being rejected by both sides. Both want their loyalty. Thus, neutrality did not save the two bishops and three priests who were kidnapped. It did not save the hundreds of Christians who have been assassinated or kidnapped, nor has it stopped the massive exodus of young people and entire families.”
Paul of Tarsus, who had dedicated himself to persecuting the Church, radically changed his way of thinking and acting as a result of his experience on the road to Damascus. That is how he became Saint Paul, apostle and missionary. There, he preached for the first time.
We pray for our brothers and sisters in the faith. St. Paul, bless Christianity in Syria, help the Christians of this country. Don’t forget this place, which was the cradle of Christianity. May the Faith not be diminished! May they feel the support and consolation of their Christian brothers and sisters all over the world. Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for Syria, pray for us.