Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Prayers for Persecuted Christians

The Arabic letter 'Nun', for Nazarene, is being painted
on Christian homes in Mosul, to mark them out.
I posted this in July 2014 for the Christians of the Middle East. Today I repost it with the thought particularly of the Catholics of China.


At this moment of disaster for the Christians of Mosul, and of the Middle East in general, we should remember to keep them in our prayers, and have Masses said for them.

There are several Votive Masses and Commemorations in the 1962 Missal for suitable intentions ('For the Church', 'Against Persecutors', 'For Peace' and the like). The Collect of one of them was enriched with an indulgence in 1934, for use as a prayer on its own. The indulgence has gone but we can still say the prayer.

Graciously hear the prayers of Thy Church, we beseech Thee, O Lord: that her enemies and all heresies be brought to nought, and that she may serve Thee in perfect security and freedom. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Ecclesiae tuae, quaesumus, Domine, preces placatus admitte: ut, destructis adversitatibus er erroribus universis, secura tibi serviat libertate. Per Christum Dominium nostrum. Amen.

(Translation from the Raccolta, the official handbook of indulgenced prayers.)

The Raccolta also includes this short prayer, taken from the Roman Ritual:

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to bring low the enemies of holy Church, we beseech Thee to hear us.

Ut inimicos sanctae Ecclesiae humiliare digneris, te rogamus, audi nos.

A longer prayer, which isn't in my edition of the Raccolta but which was also granted an indulgence in 1934, was issued as a Prayer Card by the Catholic Truth Society with an imprimatur from Cardinal Godfrey in 1962.

Almighty, everlasting God, look with compassion on all those who suffer persecution for justice’ sake.
     Grant them grace to carry their cross with patience in the name of Thy beloved Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
     Let the chalice pass from them is such by Thy holy Will: yet, in all things, may Thy Will be done.
     Grant to those who persecute, light to see the truth, and the grace of mercy and forgiveness, for they know not what they do.
     Mary, Mother of Jesus, Comfort of the Afflicted, help thy children in their time of bitter trial.

O Lord our God, by the sign of Thy holy cross deliver us from our enemies.


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  1. I have to go one better, sorry!

    Litany Against enemies of Holy Church.
    Taken from the Ritual Romanum.
    Translation approved for congregational use by the Bishops of England and Wales. 1922.
    The Litany of the Saints (old rite) is recited as far and inclusive of the Pater Noster except that the petition: "That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to humble the enemies of Holy Church: we beseech Thee hear us." is recited twice. After the Pater Noster is recited:

    O God, the heathen are come into Thine inheritance, they have defiled Thy holy temple: they have made Jerusalem a place to keep fruit.
    The dead bodies of They servant have they given to be meat unto the fowls of the air: the flesh of Thy saints unto the beasts of the earth.
    Their blood have they shed like water, round about Jerusalem: and there was no man to bury them.
    We are become a reproach unto our neighbours: a scorn and derision unto them that are round about us.
    How long, O Lord, wilt Thou be angry for ever: shall They jealousy be kindled like a fire?
    Pour out Thy wrath upon the nations that have not known Thee: and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon Thy name.
    For they have devoured Jacob: and have laid waste his dwelling place.
    O remember not our former iniquities: let they mercies speedily prevent us, for we are become exceeding poor.
    Help us, O God our Saviour; and for the glory of Thy name, O Lord, deliver us: and forgive us our sins for Thy name's sake:
    Lest they should say among the heathen:
    Where is their God? And let Him be made known among the nations before our eyes,
    By revenging the blood of They servants, which hath been shed: O let the sighing of the prisoners come in before Thee.
    According the greatness of Thine arm: preserve the children of them that have been put to death.
    And render unto our neighbours sevenfold into their bosom: the reproach wherewith they have reproached Thee, O Lord.
    But we Thy people, and the sheep of Thy pasture: will give thanks unot Thee for ever.
    We will show forth Thy praise: unto generation and generation.
    Glory be to the Father, etc.

    V. Save thy servants.
    R. That hope, O my God, in Thee.
    V. Be unto us, O Lord, a tower of Strength.
    R. From before the face of the enemy.
    V. Let not the enemy prevail against us.
    R. Nor the son of iniquity have power to hurt us.
    V.Crush, O Lord, the pride of the enemies of Thy name.
    R. And humble their insolence by the might of They hand.
    V. May they become as dust before the face of the wind.
    R, And may the Angel of the Lord pursue them.
    V. Pour out Thine anger on the peoples that know thee not.
    R. And upon the kingdoms that have not called upon thee.
    V. Send us, O Lord, help from the Holy Place.
    R. And defend us out of Sion.
    V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
    R, And let my cry come come to Thee.

    Let us pray.

    Grant unto thy Church, we beseech
    Thee, O merciful God, that She, being
    gathered together by the Holy Ghost, may
    be in no wise troubled by attack from her
    O God, who by sin art offended and by
    penance pacified, mercifully regard the
    prayers of They people making supplication
    unto Thee,and turn away the scourges of
    Thine anger which we deserve for our sins.
    Almighty and Everlasting God, in
    whose Hand are the power and the
    government of every realm: look down upon
    and help the Christian people that the heathen
    nations who trust in the fierceness of their
    own might may be crushed by the power of
    thine Arm. Through our Lord Jesus Christ,
    Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee
    in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world
    without end.
    R. Amen.

    1. Very interesting! It's not in the reprinted 1948 Roman Ritual (Sacraments and Processions) which I have.

    2. I know, it is curious. I copied this version from The Manual of Prayers for Congregational and Home Use (1922 Edition).

    3. Ah yes! I have the 1942 Knox edition. It is still there, though he's translated 'fierceness' as 'violence'. I need to check the post-Knox version.