Please Sign the 'Catholic Action' Petition Below!
The whole Christian world watches, weeps and prays as virulently anti-Christian violence spreads in the Indian State of Orissa and now beyond. We honor the heroic virtue of Fr. Thomas Pandippally of the Congregation of Mary Immaculate, who watered the ground with his blood, martyred at the hands of what appear to be anti-Christian Hindu extremists. The violence is escalating. Armed bands of extremists torch Christian churches, rectories, convents, Christian hospitals and other Christian institutions and it is now spreading beyond the State of Orissa
Fr. Thomas was a man of love who was killed by hate. He has become for Catholics the world over a witness to the triumph of God's love over hate and death itself. The horrible pogrom of violence against our brother and sister Christians in Orissa has prompted this Virtual Vigil of Prayer and Solidarity. The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) called for September 7, 2008 to be set aside as a day of prayer and fasting for Christians in Orissa, in Eastern India. They also called for all of the faithful to also organize and hold "peaceful rallies across the country to register strong protest against the repeated attacks" on Christians.
Catholic Online will use the new technology for the new evangelization and new missionary age by launching this "Virtual Vigil of Prayer and Solidarity". We invite all of our readers and viewers to join together in a cascade of prayer beseeching the Father, in and through the Son to send the Holy Spirit upon our brethren in the Persecuted Church in India, to grant His heavenly protection, give them holy courage and comfort all who suffer for the name of Jesus. We implore the Lord to intervene and bring an end to the violence. We offer our fasting and sacrifices on behalf of the great Church founded by the Apostle Thomas, the Catholic Church in India. We ask the Lord to strengthen you with the missionary spirit you need in the task you now face.
As you know so well, persecution against Christians is nothing new, especially in missionary ages such as this Third Christian Millennium. At the beginning of the First Christian Millennium, the Church historian Tertullian wrote "the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church"; so may it be in our own day. The persons who sign below join in prayer and solidarity with the persecuted Church of India. We also offer our condolences to those who were particularly pained at the loss of this dear saint and martyr of the faith, his family and his brothers in the Congregation of Mary Immaculate.