All US Catholics Asked to Make Sunday August 17 a Day of Prayer for Peace in Iraq

All US Catholics Asked to Make Sunday August 17 a Day of Prayer for Peace in Iraq

Archbishop_Louis_Sako_-255x255As thousands of Christians fled the city Qaraqosh, Iraq, earlier this month, ahead  of advancing Islamic militant group ISIS, the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako made a desperate appeal for help to Pope Francis, the Patriarchs of the East and Presidents of Bishops' Conferences around the world.  Our US Bishops Conference, among other initiatives, is designating Sunday, August 17 as a Day of Prayer for Peace in Iraq.

Here is the Patriarch's prayer for use by his people and a paraphrase of the prayer for those of us praying with them and for them.  Who better than Patriarch Sako to write a prayer for peace in Iraq than the pastor who is watching in anguish as his flock is driven from their homes, as many are slaughtered and as their churches and religious sites are being destroyed.

ChristianityOfVergeOfWipeoutLord,
The plight of our country
is deep and the suffering of Christians
is severe and frightening.
Therefore, we ask you, Lord,
to spare our lives, and to grant us patience
and courage to continue our witness of Christian values
with trust and hope.
Lord, peace is the foundation of life;
grant us the peace and stability that will enable us
to live with each other without fear and anxiety,
and with dignity and joy.
Glory be to you forever.

Paraphrased:

Lord,
the plight of Iraq
is deep and the suffering of religious minorities, including Christians
is severe and frightening. 
We ask you, Lord,
to spare the lives of all these endangered Iraqis. 
We pray for our Christian brethren. 
Grant them patience and courage
to continue their witness of faith with trust and hope.
Lord, grant them peace - peace that is the foundation of life;
Grant them the peace and stability that will enable them
to live with each other without fear and anxiety,
and with dignity and joy.
Glory be to you forever.
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