Monday, 30 September 2013

Pilgrimage of prayer

More than 500 benefactors & friends of Aid to the Church in Need are travelling this week (1st-5th October) to Rome, from around the world, to pray for suffering Christians and dedicate the work anew in a special anniversary year. Pilgrims are carrying with them their prayers and intentions, especially for the suffering peoples of the Middle East and for all Christian communities enduring attacks and oppression in so many parts of the world – such as Pakistan, Nigeria and the Central African Republic.


On 2 October, Pope Francis will welcome the participants in a General Audience. Masses and meetings with Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and with Mons. Hon Tai-Fai Savio, Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, are also planned.


This special event celebrates the 100th anniversary of the birth year of Father Werenfried van Straaten, founder of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). In 2012 Pope Benedict XVI granted the charity the status of a Pontifical Foundation.


Pilgrims from seventeen national offices will gather in prayer, for talks and at Masses as the charity consecrates the work anew under Our Lady.


As Fr Werenfried once wrote of the work of Aid to the Church in Need for persecuted, suffering and poor Christians:


“Our Work gives you the possibility of taking part in the sufferings of Jesus. Across every frontier, we take something that belongs to you – a part of your heart, a cloth to dry their tears – to those countries where the Master is again making his Way of the Cross, where he hangs on the Calvaries of this century. Through us, you are able to lighten his Way of the Cross like Veronica or Simon of Cyrene, and stand at the foot of his Cross like Mary or John.  Nothing is more precious than to console our abandoned Jesus, present in his persecuted brothers and sisters.”


United in prayer and thanks -


Neville Kyrke-Smith
National Director
Aid to the Church in Need UK


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