Invoking the intercession of Mary, mother of God, and of St. Francis of Assisi, Pope Francis asked Catholics to mark Sept. 1 as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity took this seriously.
Special prayer services were designed imploring God’s help in protecting creation and an opportunity to ask God’s forgiveness “for sins committed against the world in which we live.”
An ecumenical invitation, Pope Francis said he was instituting the prayer day for Catholics because he shares the concern of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, who initiated a similar prayer day for the Orthodox Church in 1989.
Quoting Encyclical Laudato Si, he said, “living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.”