Archbishop Martin’s invitation

Prayer Service to pray for Ireland and for Humanity

And to mark the visit of Pope Francis in 2018 and the 40th anniversary of the visit of Pope John Paul II to Drogheda in 1979

Sunday, 29th September


Dear Father, Sister, Brother, Deacon,

On Sunday past, I celebrated Mass with the Polish Community in Newry Cathedral to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the invasion of Poland and the outbreak of the Second World War. 

It is frightening that despite the memories and painful lessons of the Second World War – and the outrageous scandal of the holocaust – the tragedy of violence and conflict continues in many parts of the world today.  In particular, Ireland, north and south, is going through a period of political and economic uncertainty and the imminent introduction of very liberal abortion legislation in Northern Ireland continues to give grave cause for concern.

For these reasons, and to mark both the visit of Pope Francis to our country one year ago, and the 40th anniversary of Pope Saint John Paul’s visit, I will lead a short prayer service “For Ireland and for Humanity” on Sunday, 29 September at 5.00 pm at the Papal cross near Drogheda. 

I invite you and your parishioners to join me by coming together at the same time in your own parish for a similar prayer service. We will use the same prayer service that Pope Saint John Paul II used to pray for peace and reconciliation in Drogheda, forty years ago. On that day he concluded his address by praying that Christ the Prince of Peace, Mary, Saint Patrick, Saint Oliver Plunkett, and all the saints of Ireland would “Watch over Ireland” and “Protect humanity”. It is the perfect prayer for us during these troubled and uncertain times. 

A copy of the short liturgy for use in parishes on 29 September is attached.

Let us continue to pray for peace in our land and for the protection of life and humanity. 

With every good wish and blessing,

Yours sincerely,

                                   Archbishop Eamon Signature

Eamon Martin

Archbishop of Armagh