The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

The thoughts expressed here are my personal thoughts and sometimes reflect my political views. As a private citizen I have every right to express these views.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Praying for Russia

If you're old enough -- that is, if you attended Mass before 1965 -- you'll remember the recitation of certain prayers after low Mass. These prayers, called the "Leonine Prayers" because they were first instituted by Pope Leo XIII in 1859, were initially prayed for the "freedom and exaltation of Holy Mother Church." The prayers underwent changes over the years but eventually came to include three Hail Marys, the Salve Regina, and the familiar prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, along with an invocation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Then, in 1930, after the Vatican City State had been established as a result of the Lateran Treaty with Italy, Pope Pius XI changed the intention to "permit tranquility and freedom to profess the faith to be restored to the afflicted people of Russia." The prayers continued after every low Mass throughout the world until they were ultimately suppressed in 1964 as a result of the implementation of the Second Vatican Council's Constitution on Sacred Liturgy. The actual suppression can be found in the instruction, Inter oecumenici (Ch. 2, I.48.j.).

Although the prayers were no longer prayed after Mass, many Catholics continued to pray for Russia and its people. And the nuns who reside in one particular monastery in Rome are a perfect example. For over fifty years these cloistered nuns of the Byzantine Rite of the Catholic Church have been praying for Russia. The brief video I've included below will give you a taste of their unique apostolate and lives of prayer.


Given the instability in Russia these days, we should keep this intention alive in our own prayer lives and perhaps add prayers for China as well.

God's peace...

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