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Pope Francis Urges World's Catholics to Join the Season of Prayer for the Care of Creation
September 1 is the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation and begins the Season of Prayer for Creation which extends to October 4, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi. This major global ecumenical stewardship initiative began in 1989 under the leadership of the Orthodox Church.
Pope Francis established the Day for the Catholic Church by a letter dated August 6, 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 crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square, following the traditional Angelus prayer on the last Sunday in August, Pope Francis said, “This coming Thursday, September 1, we will mark the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, together with our Orthodox brothers and sisters and with other Churches,” describing the event as, “an opportunity to strengthen the common commitment to safeguard life, respecting the environment and nature.”
It’s a good opportunity to consider the message of the Pope’s recent encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home.