Praying for the Persecutors of the Church

Tucked away at the front of Father Kapaun's Liturgical Rite book is a small leaflet from the Apostleship of Prayer inviting people to join with the Holy Father's prayer intentions for the month.  This one is for November 1939, shortly after World War II had started.  In it, we can see a glimpse of the teachings that formed Father Kapaun and prepared him for his future mission in the Prison Camps of Korea.

"General Intention for November, 1939

Recommended by His Holiness, Pope Pius XII

FOR THE PERSECUTORS OF GOD'S HOLY CHURCH

Former General Intentions bade us take up the arms of prayer against false doctrines and their baneful effects.  Then we prayed that mankind be delivered from the evils of the new paganism.  Now we would use these same spiritual weapons to safeguard the authors of these evils against God's just anger.  Thus we would obey our Divine Lord's injunction: 'Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who persecute and calumniate you.'  Let us re-echo our dying Saviour's prayer: 'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.'

Like her Divine Founder, the Church wishes not the death of the sinner but rather that he be converted and live, not the execution of the persecutor but that like Saul he, being converted, may become another Paul lovingly to proclaim Christ and His Mystical Body.  The enemies of Christ and His Church disseminate hatred and disunion; the Church, like Christ, would unite all men in fraternal charity as sons and daughters of the one Heavenly Father.

 

If the spirit of Christ be in us as true sons and daughters of His Church, such will be not only our prayer but also our every thought, word, and deed towards all, especially to those who hate and persecute us."

 

The Apostleship of Prayer still promotes the Holy Father's intentions and offers reflections on them: www.apostleshipofprayer.org 

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