Pope Francis called attention on Sunday to the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, to be celebrated this coming Thursday, 1 September. A major global ecumenical stewardship initiative, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation began in 1989 under the leadership of the Orthodox Church.
Pope Francis established the Day for the Catholic Church by a letter dated 6 August 2015, and addressed to Cardinals Peter Turkson and Kurt Koch, respectively the President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity.
In the letter, Pope Francis says, “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.”
Speaking to the faithful following the traditional Angelus prayer on the final Sunday in August, Pope Francis looked forward to the event, saying, “This coming Thursday, September 1st, we will mark the World Day of Prayer for the care of creation, together with our Orthodox brothers and with other Churches,” describing the event as, “an opportunity to strengthen the common commitment to safeguard life, respecting the environment and nature.”