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Background: World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation

August 31, 2021

In 2015, Pope Francis established September 1 as the annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation in the Catholic Church.

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In doing so, he acknowledged his debt to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, which has observed September 1, the beginning of its liturgical year, as a similar day of prayer since 1989.

“As Christians we wish to contribute to resolving the ecological crisis which humanity is presently experiencing,” Pope Francis said in his August 2015 letter announcing the day of prayer. “In doing so, we must first rediscover in our own rich spiritual patrimony the deepest motivations for our concern for the care of creation.”

He added:

The annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation will offer individual believers and communities a fitting opportunity to reaffirm their personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which he has entrusted to our care, and to implore his help for the protection of creation as well as his pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live. The celebration of this Day, on the same date as the Orthodox Church, will be a valuable opportunity to bear witness to our growing communion with our Orthodox brothers and sisters.

Pope Francis issued messages for the day in 2016, 2017 (a joint message with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew), 2018, 2019 and 2020.

 


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