Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity

56b0e0d5ba13c.image
 At the Last Supper Our Lord prayed to His Father that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.  This petition, part of His high priestly prayer, should be on our lips as well.  The scattered sheep, divided from the Church which Christ established, are just as dear to Our Lord’s heart as those who are in the fold.  Today begins the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity, begun by the Servant of God Fr. Paul Wattson (Paul of Graymoor) over one hundred years ago, who at the time was still an Episcopalian, although on the path to full communion with Christ’s Church.  On the centenary of the birth of the Unity Octave, Pope Benedict XVI spoke about the origins of this prayer, which spread throughout the Church and the world. You can find that address here.
 Join us, and people around the world, in asking Our Lord to unite all people in His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
 THE OCTAVE PRAYERS

ANTIPHON: That they all may be one, as Thou, Father, in me and I in Thee; that they also may be one in Us; that the world may believe that Thou hast sent me.

V. I say unto thee, thou art Peter;

R. And upon this rock I will build my Church.

[Here is brought to mind the intention for the day’s prayer.]

January 18: For the return of the “other sheep” to the One Fold of our Lord Jesus Christ.

January 19: For the return of the Eastern Orthodox Christians to communion with the Apostolic See.

January 20: For the return of the Anglicans to the authority of the Vicar of Christ.

January 21: For the return of all Protestants throughout the world to the unity of the Catholic Church.

January 22: That Christians in America (or, in my own country) may be one, in union with the Chair of Saint Peter.

January 23: That lapsed Catholics will return to the Sacraments of the Church.

January 24: That the Jewish people will be converted to the Catholic Faith.

January 25: That missionary zeal will conquer the world for Christ.

Let us pray. O Lord Jesus Christ, who saidst to thine Apostles, Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you: regard not our sins, but the faith of thy Church; and grant to her peace and unity according to thy will; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

The Transitus of Our Holy Father Francis

O sanctissima anima, in cuius transitu caeli cives occurrunt, Angelorum chorus exultat, et gloriosa Trinitas invitat, dicens:  Mane nobiscum in aeternum.

O most holy soul, at your departure the heavenly host comes to meet you, the angelic choir rejoices & the glorious Trinity welcomes you, saying:  remain with us forever.

This evening was a milestone for us: we celebrated the Transitus of Our Holy Father Francis for the first time since moving to San Antonio!  Fr. Phillips, pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement, led this service, which marks the passing of St. Francis from this life to eternal life.  It is so fitting for this Franciscan tradition to be celebrated at Our Lady of the Atonement, since this title of Our Lady was begun by a Franciscan, Fr. Paul Wattson.

For those of you who would like to see what a Transitus service looks like, here is a video from the Franciscan Custos in the Holy Land. Warning: it’s quite long, so not for the faint of heart.  Ours was a small affair, nowhere near as fancy…but give us a year or two…