First Friday of Lent marks Day of Prayer for Survivors of Abuse

16 Feb, 2024 | Church, News, Pope

This past Wednesday, 14 February, was Ash Wednesday and also the start of the liturgical Season of Lent. The English word ‘Lent’ comes from the Anglo-Saxon word Lencten, meaning ‘Spring’.  In other languages the word comes from the Latin, Quadragesima – a period of 40 days.  For Christian believers, Lent is the time of preparation for Easter and it commemorates the forty days which, according to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus spent fasting in the desert before beginning His public ministry where He endured temptation.  During Lent – through prayer, penance (including participating in the Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession), acts of charity and self-denial – we are called to renewal of our Christian life in preparation for Easter.  See more explanation of the meaning of Ash Wednesday, Lent and Pope Francis’s message for Lent 2024 here

Today, Friday 16 February, marks the Day of Prayer for Survivors of Abuse.  The Day of Prayer is an initiative of Pope Francis and was first marked in Irish dioceses in 2017.  Blessed candles will be lit in parishes across the country as a reminder to the faithful of the need for atonement and to symbolise repentance; light in the darkness and hope.  These ‘Candles of Atonement’ will be lit in diocesan cathedrals and churches today, and thereafter during the celebration of Mass and other liturgies.  The lighting of the ‘Candle of Atonement’, and prayer, are based on the very moving Penitential Rite composed and prayed by Pope Francis at the final Mass of the 9th World Meeting of Families on 26 August 2018 at Phoenix Park, Dublin, when the Holy Father implored the Lord’s mercy for the crimes of abuse and asked for forgiveness.

Please avail of the prayer content and resources for Day of Prayer for Survivors of Abuse here



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