The leaders of the The Catholic Church in Mexico has urged the faithful to participate in days of prayer for peace during the month of July following the rise in violence in the country and the killing of two Jesuit priests on June 20.
The Mexican Episcopal Conference, the Conference of Major Superiors of Religious of Mexico and the Mexican Province of the Society of Jesus declared in a joint statement that “the murders and disappearances that are committed daily in the country are a call from God for us . come together to pray for peace.
“The blood shed by these brothers and sisters is the blood of Jesus which falls to the earth to make it fruitful and [encourage us to] embark on the path of peace,” they said.
Bishops, religious superiors and Jesuit priests have called for “all priests, men and women religious who have been murdered in the country to be remembered” in all July 10 Masses.
In addition, they asked that the intention of these masses be “for their lives, so that their sufferings accompany us on this path of peace”.
Additionally, they recommended that pictures of deceased people be displayed in churches during masses.
The bishops, religious superiors and Jesuit priests also called in their joint statement for July Masses to be celebrated and community prayers to be held “in meaningful places that represent all those who have disappeared or suffered violent deaths.” , whether intentional homicides, femicides, social activists or any other person in a situation of exclusion or vulnerability.
“There is a wound to heal and there is the strength the country needs today to build peace. Remembering the death and resurrection of Jesus in these places will transform fear into strength to build peace,” they said in the statement.
They also encouraged the faithful that “as a prophetic sign of our Church, in the Eucharist of July 31, we pray for the aggressors, we pray for their life and the conversion of their hearts, we stretch out our hand to receive them with a repentant heart”. in the house of God.
“They are also our brothers and need our prayers. More violence in our country,” they urged.
Bishops, religious leaders and Jesuits urged the faithful to promote their initiatives on social networks in addition to encouraging each diocese, religious order and parish to take measures to promote peace, such as holy hours, processions for peace and messages to the people of God. .
“Today we need stories of hope, images where we see the community praying and asking for peace,” they said.
“We entrust ourselves to the Virgin of Guadalupe, who has always accompanied the people of God in the most difficult moments of their history. There is the mother who gives us an embrace of peace and sends us to be pilgrims of hope and unity,” the statement concludes.
The Catholic Multimedia Center reports that seven priests have been killed in Mexico since the start of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s six-year term in late 2018.
More than 121,000 homicides have been reported in the country in just three and a half years under the López Obrador government, on track to surpass the more than 156,000 murders committed during the six-year term of his predecessor, Enrique Pea Nieto.
13,389 murders took place in Mexico between January 1 and July 3 this year, according to official statistics.