Monday, November 22, 2010

To Pray the Rosary for Persecuted Christians in Iraq

Join Catholics worldwide on Tuesday, Nov. 23 as we pray the Rosary for the persecuted Christians in Iraq. This is yet another effort to strengthen our Iraqi brothers and sisters in Christ. My friend Dan told me about this proposal and referred me to a website promoting it.

How fitting these prayers will happen Tuesday, when we pray the Sorrowful Mysteries. Christians have been praying the Rosary for 800 years. They are powerful prayers.

Sister Lucia of Jesus told us: "The Most Holy Virgin in these last times in which we live has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Holy Rosary. She has given this efficacy to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all, spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families, of the families of the world, or of the religious communities, or even of the life of peoples and nations that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary."

(Thanks to Catholic artisan Sarah Harkins for use of this photo of one of her handmade clay rosaries.)
Most Christians in Iraq, who have lived in the region since nearly the time of Christ, belong to the Chaldean Catholic Church, part of the East Syrian Rite of the Roman Catholic Church, maintaining full communion with the Roman Catholic Church.

Widespread persecutions of Christians began in Iraq in 2003 after the fall of Sadaam Hussein. Hundreds of thousands have fled the country, seeking asylum in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Thousands also have sought refuge in the Detroit area.

From a high of 800,000 Chaldean Catholics in Iraq, only 400,000 remain. Muslim extremists are persecuting them for their faith. The worst attack on Christians in modern history happened on the vigil of All Saints' Day, when two priests and 58 other worshipers were slaughtered in Our Lady of Salvation Cathedral in Baghdad.

Let us join their sorrows to ours. As we pray the rosary, let us entwine all sorrow to Christ's. Here is Danielle Rose, who wrote a song for each of the Sorrowful Mysteries, singing of the Agony in the Garden.