In a video released on January 1, 2024, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, as well as the World Day of Peace, Br. Paul Bednarczyk, C.S.C., invited the Congregation of Holy Cross throughout the world to unite on February 16, the First Friday of Lent, to pray for world peace. The prayer will be broadcast live on the Congregation’s social media, as well as that of Holy Cross Family Ministries, which is helping organize the prayer event.
“The horrific violence and tragic loss of life we have witnessed with the war in Ukraine, and now the recent war in Israel and Gaza, is staggering and shocking,” said Br. Bednarczyk. “Such violent conflicts, however, are also taking place in other parts of the world as well. None of us are left unaffected, unmoved by these horrendous events. We seek to respond from our faith.”
Br. Bednarczyk has invited Holy Cross religious and all those with whom they serve and pray to unite in praying the Rosary of the Seven Dolors, which is a devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows, the Congregation’s patroness.
“As Mary stood by the Cross of Jesus, our Constitutions remind us that Mary has much to teach us about the cross as well as its daily hope,” said Br. Bednarczyk. “Through her intercession, as we reflect on the sorrows of our world today, we hope that Mary will be Our Lady of Hope, helping us to be peacemakers, men and women with hope to bring in our world today, so that there may be an end to all violence and war.”
The Rosary of the Seven Dolors will begin in Rome at 4 pm local Rome time (UTC+1), with a personal message and prayer from Br. Bednarczyk. After the opening prayer, the meditations and prayers on the traditional Seven Dolors or Sorrows of Mary will be led by Holy Cross ministry centers in 18 countries on five different continents, thus seeking to truly united the world in prayer for peace.
The phrase “A world at prayer is a world at peace” was coined by Holy Cross priest and sainthood candidate, Venerable Patrick Peyton, the founder of the ministries of Holy Cross Family Ministries. Fr. Peyton is also well known for his message: “The family that prays together stays together.”
“Our founder, Patrick Peyton believed in the power of prayer,” said Father Fred Jenga, C.S.C, President of Holy Cross Family Ministries. “He believed prayer began in the home and the power of that prayer overflowed to the surrounding community. We hope individuals and families around the world will join us to bring hope to the world and demonstrate by our example the power of prayer.”
More information regarding the times and places of this live online event will be forthcoming in the next few weeks. Visit: www.HCFM.org/PrayForPeace