From the 15th February 2022, Carmelites from the National Shrine of St. Jude have been holding a Novena for Peace. Prompted by the increase of tensions at the border of the Ukraine, the Carmelites invite all to join their daily prayer for reaching peaceful solutions even in the most difficult of situations.

The novena takes inspiration from the encyclical released in 1963 by Pope John XXIII called ‘'Pacem in Terris' (Peace on Earth). This papal letter was written at a time of widespread tension and fear due to the Cuban Missile Crisis and the threat of nuclear war.

Rather than just addressing the encyclical to clergy and the Catholic world, Pope John asked ‘all people of good will’ to follow, calling for conflicts to be resolved through negotiations rather than recourse to arms. He emphasised the importance of respect of human rights as an essential consequence of the Christian understanding of people. During a radio broadcast, Pope John said "Hear the anguished cry which rises to heaven from every corner of the earth, from innocent children to old men, from the people in cities and to villages: Peace! Peace!"

The Carmelites invite you to join them in praying the novena each day until the 23rd February either in private, with friends and family or in a group. Let us pray that peaceful solutions can be found even in the most difficult of situations:

Hear my voice, for it is the voice of all the victims of all wars and violence among individuals and nations.

Hear my voice, for it is the voice of all the children who suffer, when people put their faith in weapons and war.

Hear my voice, when I beg you to instil into the hearts of all human beings, the wisdom of peace, the strength of justice and the joy of fellowship.

Hear my voice, for I speak for the multitudes in every country and in every period of history, who do not want war and are ready to walk the road of peace.

Hear my voice, and grant insight and strength, so that we may always respond to hatred with love, to injustice with total dedication to justice, to need with the sharing of self, to war with peace.

O God, hear my voice and grant unto the world Your everlasting peace. Amen.