Wednesday, July 23, 2014

First Friday, August 1 - A day of prayer, adoration and solidarity for the persecuted Christians in Iraq, Syria, and the Middle East.

"N"--for "Nazarene," as in Jesus of Nazareth

Initiated by the FSSP.

This was the day chosen by the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP) for a worldwide day of Public Adoration of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament in supplication for our persecuted brethren in Iraq, Syria, and the Middle East.  - Details here.

An appeal from Archbishop Amel Nona of Mosul
(Vatican Radio) “We need more than words now, we need concrete actions, we need the solidarity of Christians worldwide, not to be afraid to talk about this tragedy”, says Archbishop Amel Nona of Mosul speaking to Vatican Radio over the phone from Nineveh province, Northern Iraq. - Read more here.


  1. Intercessory prayer is effective. Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering for their faith in Him. As Father Robert Imbelli from Boston College points out, the Christians in Mosul are "utterly abandoned". We can unite with them in our prayers.

    1. Very true. Thanks. United in prayer...

  2. ‘N’ for Nazarene as for 70% of the Arab Muslim population of Nazareth.

    Isn’t the sign of the Cross far more effective in proclaiming and witnessing to our Christian identity.

    Solidarity is shared in the Cross, not adopting some Arabic letter imposed by those who fear the Cross.

    “Some of the blood must then be taken and put on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses… ” Exodus 12 : 7

    1. It is similar to Christians in Holland who wore the yellow Star of David in solidarity with the Jews persecuted by the Nazis.

    2. Here, bg, this may help:

      I'm torn. Should we be putting our efforts into getting them to stay in their land, or into trying to get them all out? Can't help to think of the Jews who stayed in Germany after Kristallnacht.

    3. I hope we can also pray for those "left behind." The Christian families who converted, the other minorities who suffer persecution who may have stayed and to the majority who are Muslim who stayed, I believe many of them will suffer moreso than before under this new tyrannical regime and their form of Islam.

      Women are the apple of God's eye. We are precious and beautiful and full of life. I would prefer to lose all material wealth and goods than to be stripped of my womanly dignity made all the more beautiful in God's eyes. In my poverty, I can still life my soul and heart to God and sing His praises. I am free.

      Now, if I should suffer a violation that strips me to the bone, if I am suppressed and denied that I too, am a creature of God, how can I live? Unless I am so strong that nothing/no one can harm me, I do not know how I would survive.

      I am going to remember all who are left behind as I hope many here and elsewhere will too. They are going to suffer moreso, I believe than our Christian brethren who have had to flee their homelands.

      I read this today, and became angry...forgive me Lord, but where is the "reproductions rights crowd? the I want sex at any cost crowd? the war against women crowd?"
      Do not these hypocrites care about the plight of what many women and girls will suffer as a result of this new dictatorship disguised as a "caliphate?"

      Read and learn for yourselves if you have not already:

      "According to “Caliphate of Brutality,” a front-page story in L’Osservatore Romano, ISIL’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has ordered all women and girls within its territory to undergo genital mutilation. The Vatican newspaper also reported that ISIL earlier ordered “families to give virgin girls in marriage to jihadists” and segregated universities by sex."

  3. Rawan Jinan, a 25-year-old Iraqi Christian woman:

    "The fighters took the money her husband was carrying and searched their luggage thoroughly, stealing clothes and even baby diapers. They also treated their victims with open contempt. "They opened the can of baby milk and poured its contents into the street," she says. "We begged them to give us a bottle of water for the children, to quiet them, but they opened the water bottles and poured out the water in front us."

    It is being reported the cruelty has only just begun. I have been watching for one year now what has been going on with my brothers and sisters in the Middle East. Nothing else is of importance as far as online stuff goes but to pray and unite oneself to their suffering since they suffer for being followers of the Risen Lord. The whole body of Christ suffers.

    I will participate in the prayers, the fasting, and the holy hours. I will do my best to keep vigil since I cannot in good conscience ignore nor remain indifferent to their plight. This morning while I was up and about a thought came to me that gave me comfort despite what's happening...

    "Their plight, their witness, their refusal to capitulate and deny Christ Jesus, will be greatly rewarded. They will be a light to the world for their courageous witness."

    And so there it is...amid all the oppression, the light of truth, of life, of faith, will never, ever, die.

    Thanks, Terry.

    1. Thank you Yaya. Together we pray for them. It is a heart rending tragedy.

    2. You know Terry, I have also been thinking of the brave professor who lost his life for standing up against such tyranny. His was a lone voice in Mosul. He was aware of the risks I am sure but took a stand regardless. So in a sense, he may have lost his earthly life, but I am hopeful our most gracious and merciful Lord Jesus greeted him as he entered eternal life. ^^

      "There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for a friend."

      St. Maximilian Kolbe, pray for us!

  4. I reckon those who are committing terrible acts of cruelty in the Middle East are also in need of much prayer and forgiveness. Difficult though this may be, it is what we are called to if we claim to follow Christ.

    “But I say this to you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; in this way you will be sons of your Father in heaven, for he causes the sun to rise on bad men as well as good, and his rain to fall on honest and dishonest me alike. For if you love those who love you, what right have you to claim any credit? Even tax collectors do as much, do they not? And if you save your greetings for your brothers are you doing anything exceptional? Even the pagans do as much, do they not? You must therefore be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5 : 43-48)

    1. bg - I found this:

      "“What gives us hope is a group of citizens – I do not want to say Muslims but they were Muslims – from Baghdad carrying slogans saying “I am Iraqi, I am Christian,” Father Maysar Bahnam of Mar Korkis Catholic Church told Al Arabiya News.
      “They prayed in solidarity with us, saying that we are people from this land,” Bahnam said, emphasizing that the rally “is a hope for us as Iraqis and Christians, that there are good Iraqis. In fact, Iraqis are good people but sectarian issues which could have come from abroad affected us.”
      Addressing both the Muslim congregates and the approximately 150 Christian worshipers after Sunday mass, Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako, head of the Chaldean Catholic Church, started his speech saying “I am Christian, Sunni, Shiite, Kurd, Mandean, Yazidi and I am Iraqi,” in reference to the country’s diversity.
      “His words were very influential and had a big echo among the attendees,” Father Bahnam said.

      Read more:

    2. Thanks, Terry.

      “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” Yesterday’s gospel reading (Matthew 12 : 46-50)


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