The priest who is organizing Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to Jordan has written a special prayer for the occasion with the aim of allowing the world to participate. “This prayer takes into consideration the whole pilgrimage of His Holiness to the Holy Land. Therefore it’s not only for Jordan, but for all,” Fr. Rifat Bader explained to CNA May 5. With this prayer he noted, Catholics from the whole world will be able to prepare for and to accompany the Pope during his May 24 - 26 visit to Jordan, Palestine and Israel. Fr. Bader is the director of the Catholic Center for Studies and Media in Amman, Jordan and is also responsible for the pontiff’s visit to the country as part of his Holy Land pilgrimage.
The priest also voiced his hopes that the prayer he wrote would will be an act of personal and communitarian devotion, asking that the pilgrimage would help the Christians of the world to live in peace, particularly in the Middle East. Also entrusting to the Lord a strong ecumenical intention, the prayer implores that the meetings between Pope Francis and local authorities will improve justice and peace in the zone, and strengthen the faith of the sons of the Church. With this in mind, Fr. Bader invited all to recite the prayer during the month of May along with praying of the Rosary, and to share the prayer in parishes and at religious events.
Pope Francis announced his visit during his Sunday Angelus address on Jan. 5, stating that he is making the trip “to commemorate the historic meeting between Pope Paul VI and the Patriarch Athenagoras I, that occurred precisely on January 5, as today, 50 years ago." During his time in the Holy Land, the Roman Pontiff is slated to meet with the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, during his May pilgrimage. Along with representatives of “all the Christian churches of Jerusalem,” the two leaders will celebrate an ecumenical meeting at the site of the Holy Sepulchre, which Christians revere as the place of Jesus’ burial prior to the Resurrection. Below please find the full text of Fr. Bader’s prayer:
Heavenly Father, you never tire of being compassionate and loving, the successor of St. Peter, His Holiness Pope Francis, plans to visit the Holy Land sanctified by your Son’s birth, baptism, teaching, death and resurrection, be with him, sanctify and bless him, spread the mantle of your kindness over every stage of his pilgrimage among us, that one may we see in him a believing pilgrim, a wise teacher, and a humble leader Lord Jesus Christ, as you prayed for the unity of your Church, saying, “may they all be one”, make the meeting in Jerusalem between the Holy Father and the Ecumenical Patriarch an incentive to increase our efforts for the unity of your children, Make the encounter of the Pope with the political authorities fruitful for justice and peace, protect all the residents of this land and the adherents of the religions of the Middle East, so that they may be in harmony, dialogue and cooperation for the achievement of full citizenship Good Shepherd, whose image Pope Francis carries on his pectoral cross, walking in the spirit of humility with which you have graced him: deepen within us the awareness of our Christian identity, that as true disciples, we may bear witness to your Good News and your resurrection in our churches, our society, and all the world, especially by serving the sick, the poor and the refugees. Bless, Lord Most Holy, this fourth papal visit to our Holy Land, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, all the saints of the Holy Land, and the two new saints, John Paul II and John XXIII, Amen.