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USCCB: pray, fast for those facing persecution

August 09, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is asking Catholics to pray, fast, and abstain from meat on August 9 for the following intention: “for the intercession of the saints to fortify and encourage all those facing religious persecution.”

An accompanying reflection recalled the example of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), who suffered martyrdom at Auschwitz and whose feast is celebrated on August 9:

St. Edith Stein stands as a profound witness for all who seek to live for the truth. Let us recall her words spoken just a few days before her death: "If I cannot share the lot of my brothers and sisters, my life, in a certain sense, is destroyed." We pray ardently for the grace to stand courageously in the face of religious persecution.

In December 2012, the US bishops announced a call to prayer and penance whose “overall focus is to invite Catholics to pray for rebuilding a culture favorable to life and marriage and for increased protections of religious liberty. Campaign components include monthly Eucharistic holy hours in cathedrals and parishes, daily family rosary, special Prayers of the Faithful at all Masses, fasting and abstinence on Fridays, and the second observance of a Fortnight for Freedom.”

The Friday prayer and fasting intentions change weekly; the links below describe how to receive the intentions in advance, typically the afternoon of the previous day.


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