Archbishop Eamon Martin asks Irish Catholics to join Pope Francis in prayer and fasting for Ukraine this Lent.
The Archbishop made the comments yesterday (Tuesday March 1) ahead of Ash Wednesday today, and is launching a social media campaign to encourage the faithful to use social media to draw closer to God during this time.
The forty-day period of Lent lasts until Thursday April 14 and marks the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
He said: “Our Lenten journey this year begins as we watch the harrowing and frightening scenes of Ukraine. Our hearts and prayers go out to the people of Ukraine. We can never take peace for granted. We must always work for peace, pray for peace and make sacrifices for peace. We all have the capacity to build peace through our words, our actions and our attitudes towards others. We choose to sow peace or conflict, love or hate, to build or destroy, to heal or hurt, to forgive or resent, to appease or inflame.
“Pope Francis has invited us all to join in prayer and fasting for peace on Ash Wednesday. I encourage the people of Ireland to join in this moment of prayer and solidarity with the people of Ukraine. I also ask that during the Lenten period that our acts of fasting, prayer and charity could keep in mind the people of Ukraine and all those in the conflict zones of our world.”
Pope Francis has previously called on Catholics and non-believers around the world to fast in solidarity with Ukrainians as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues.
Bishop Martin said, “As we prepare for Easter over the next 40 days, our spiritual conversion can be nurtured through daily actions, thoughts, prayers and words. In his message for Lent 2022, Pope Francis invites the faithful to sow seeds of hope.”
He invites people observing Lent this year to take advantage of his #LivingLent initiative on social media and access online resources with suggestions for fasting, prayer and charity.