For all of this week, the traveling image of Our Lady Help of Persecuted Christians is resident in the Main Chapel at St. Patrick's Seminary, courtesy of the efforts of the Seminary Knights of Columbus Council. This council is made solely of seminarians from St. Patrick's for the purpose of introducing them to the Knights of Columbus organization and its founding principles of charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism.
Every year, the Knights of Columbus entrusts its councils with the Marian Prayer Program, in which traveling images make their way to various parishes to be venerated by the faithful. Since its start in 1979, the Marian Prayer Program has held more than 166,900 prayer services with about 20 million participants.
This year, the Knights have chosen to raise awareness of and to pray for our brothers and sisters who undergo persecution for their faith, particularly in the Middle East. Archbishop William E. Lori, Supreme Chaplain, composed the following prayer for this program:
PRAYER FOR PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS
O God of all the nations,
the One God who is and was and always will be,
in your providence you willed that your Church
be united to the suffering of your Son.
Look with mercy on your servants
who are persecuted for their faith in you.
Grant them perseverance and courage
to be worthy imitators of Christ.
Bring your wisdom upon leaders of nations
to work for peace among all peoples.
May your Spirit open conversion
for those who contradict your will,
that we may live in harmony.
Give us the grace to be united in truth and freedom,
and to always seek your will in our lives.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Our Lady Help of Persecuted Christians, pray for us.
The Knights of Columbus are also gathering donations in support of this cause. You can donate here.