The initiative by Juventutem, a Catholic network fostering the sanctification of young people through the traditional liturgy and spirituality of the Roman rite, comes in response to a growing number of attacks against Christians around the world. According to figures published by Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, 75 per cent of all persecution is directed against Christians.
Early March 2015 saw a spate of attacks against Christians and churches in India, including the rape of an elderly nun, and in early April, Christian students in Kenya were targeted by Somali militants in an attack on Garissa University College.
The London Juventutem group – sponsored by the Latin Mass Society and in association with the International Una Voce Federation – is having four Votive Masses offered for persecuted Christians, at St Mary Moorfields in the City of London on 24 April, 26 June, 25 September and 18 December.
Masses are at 7:30pm with a social for young people afterwards. There are plans for a representative from Aid to the Church in Need, which helps persecuted and other suffering Christains, to speak after one of the Masses.
“In parts of the world today Christians are tortured, killed, or driven from their homes because of their faith. These Masses are an opportunity to show solidarity through prayer with our persecuted fellow Christians.”
Fr Armand De Malleray, who will celebrate the first of the Votive Masses, said: “Of old, God asked a man the question: ‘Where is Abel your brother?’ What will our answer be? Not all of us may be able to help our persecuted fellow-Christians financially, but offering and attending Holy Mass at their intention is a very powerful way to secure divine assistance for them and beg for the conversion of their persecutors.”
Richard Hawker, Chairman of Juventutem London, said: “It is a great privilege to be able to celebrate these Masses to help our persecuted and suffering brethren across the world. We hope that the celebration of these Masses solemnly in the Extraordinary Form will do much to further highlight their plight, especially among younger Catholics.”
Neville Kyrke-Smith, national director of Aid to the Church in Need (UK) warmly welcomed the initiative. He said: “In parts of the world today Christians are tortured, killed, or driven from their homes because of their faith. These masses are an opportunity to show solidarity through prayer with our persecuted fellow Christians.”
This story was taken from Aid to the Church in Need. For more information on the important work of ACN, please visit their website.