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 Vilnius, April 1: Prayer on Behalf of the Holy Father

Cardinal Audrys Bačkis, Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Peter Stephan Zurbriggen and Archbishop Sigitas Tamkevičius concelebrated a Mass for Pope John Paul II in the Marian chapel of the Gates of Dawn in Vilnius. The Bishops published an appeal to the Lithuanian faithful inviting them to pray on behalf of the Holy Father.

“Aware of the devotion of John Paul II to the Blessed Virgin Mary we have assembled in front of his beloved image of the Mother of God at the Gates of Dawn, to offer Holy Mass for the Pope, who is sick. We raise our hearts to the Lord and ask the intercession of the Mother of Mercy on behalf of the Pope, we pray that the Merciful God would relieve his cup of suffering”.

The Bishops invited all the faithful of Lithuania to join in prayer with the Holy Father and to sacrifice their sufferings, afflictions and troubles together with the Pope on behalf of the Church. They suggest that the faithful perceive eventual health reports not as sensational news stories but rather as a faith inspiring message inviting them to prayer.

The Bishops reminded the faithful that the Holy Father had prayed in front of this same venerable image and guided Lithuania to proceed the way of the Rosary under of the protection of the Mother of God. “Silent and quiet prayers as well as the Lord’s Prayer recited in communities on behalf of the sick Pope unite us with the Catholics in the whole world”, say the Bishops.

Pope John Paul II prayed in front of the image of Mary of the Gates of Dawn in Lithuanian chapel at the crypt of St. Peter’s Basilica just after his election in 1978. The Holy Father prayed Rosary in the Sanctuary of the Gates of Dawn in September 1993 during his visit to the Baltic States.

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