Pope Francis announces the renewal of the “24 Hours for the Lord” prayer inititative, set to take place next Friday, and dedicated to adoration and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. And recalling last year’s Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Holy Father calls on the faithful to remain united in faith and solidarity with all those suffering from war.
By Christopher Wells
Pope Francis has called on the faithful to remain “united in faith and solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are suffering on account of war,” remembering especially “the tormented Ukrainian people.”
He made the appeal as he announced this year’s “24 Hours for the Lord,” a prayer initiative devoted to prayer of adoration and to the Sacrament of Penance, which occurs each year during Lent. This year’s edition will take place beginning in the evening on Friday, 17 March, and continuing through Saturday, 18 March.
Pope Francis began the 24 Hours for the Lord initiative in the first year of his papacy. During the event, churches around the world remain open for an entire day, to offer the faithful and pilgrims the opportunity to pause in adoration and go to Confession.
In his announcement at the Angelus on Sunday, the Holy Father recalled the Act of Consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which took place during last year’s penitential service, with its special prayer for peace.
“May our trust not fail,” the Pope said on Sunday, “may our hope not waver!” He insisted that “the Lord always hears the petitions that His people address to Him through the intercession of His Mother.”
Pope Francis also announced that he will be marking the 24 Hours for the Lord service by visiting the Roman parish of Santa Maria delle Grazie al Trionfale next Friday evening for penitential service that will include the Sacrament of Reconciliation (or Confession).