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Jerusalem patriarch urges prayer, penance to obtain rain

Catholic World News - December 06, 2010

Amid a severe drought and five years of below-average rainfall, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem has called upon the faithful to pray and do penance to obtain the gift of rain.

“Rain has not come to our land for a long time now,” said Archbishop Fouad Twal. “The Church [is] used to pray[ing] during these difficult times, to implore the Lord’s mercy and appease his anger caused by our sins. We remember what happened with the Prophet Elijah when the Holy Land suffered from seven years of drought. The prayer of the prophet obtained the miracle. It rained abundantly.”

“I ask to designate the Second Sunday of Advent, December 5, 2010 for this intention, and the following Friday, December 10, 2010 as a day of penance, during which the faithful may fast or practice abstinence (from meat or smoking or other ways and means possible),” he added. “They can also visit the church and pray for a period of time."

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