The Novena for Religious Freedom will start on Friday, August 1st, the Feast of St. Peter in Chains, with a special Day of Solidarity for All Persecuted Christians.
There are three things we will do to commemorate this day, on the first day of the novena:
- We will fast (or offer another sacrifice).
- We will recite a Morning Offering prayer (see below).
- We will recite our novena prayer for the day.
We will do all of these things, offering them up for those suffering for their faith around the world.
How you choose to fast, or make another sacrifice, is up to you, but here are a few examples:
- Only eating one small meal that day
- Abstaining from meat
- Abstaining from caffeine
- Giving up listening to the radio or watching tv
- Walking to daily mass instead of driving
Again, these are just a few ideas. You can discern how you feel called, and capable, to fast. There is no specific requirement.
As for the Morning Offering, there are many different variations of this prayer — you can choose to pray whichever one you know best. The idea is to offer God everything in your day, good and bad, joining your sacrifices & joys to His. This prayer is also a good reminder of the importance of praying for others and for our Holy Father.
Here is one version we will be praying:
through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I offer You my prayers, works,
joys and sufferings
of this day for all the intentions
of Your Sacred Heart,
in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
throughout the world,
in reparation for my sins,
for the intentions of all my relatives and friends,
and in particular
for the intentions of the Holy Father.
St. Peter in Chains, pray for us!”