A Day for Prayer and Solidarity 11 – 13 June 2021
The Jesuits are adding their voice to the many individuals and groups in the Church and civil society which are advocating for equity and justice in the production and distribution of vaccines especially for marginalised and vulnerable communities all over the world.
Director of Jesuit Missions, Paul Chitnis and Brother Stephen Power SJ expressed their concerns about the global distribution of vaccines in an open letter to Boris Johnson, which can be read here. The Society of Jesus also calls for justice in the global allocation of vaccines in this statement.
Currently, 85% of administered vaccines have gone to high-income or upper-middle income countries while low-income countries have received only 0.3% of available vaccines.
Pope Francis has encouraged “all states to contribute actively to the international efforts being made to ensure an equitable distribution of the vaccines, based not on purely economic criteria but on the needs of all, especially of peoples most in need.”
To coincide with the G7 meeting taking place in the UK from 11–13 June, you are invited to take a moment on each of these days to pray in thanksgiving for the COVID vaccines, for those who develop and deliver them, and also, to pray for greater justice in the vaccines’ distribution.
The prayer below may act as a focus for you.
Friday is also the day on which Catholics are invited to undertake some small act of self-denial or engagement. Here are some things which might be an appropriate way to express your solidarity with those whose lives have been affected by Coronavirus or who await their vaccination:
- Fast for a day in solidarity with the those around the world who do not yet have access to the vaccine.
- Connect with others in your parish, school, or chaplaincy for a ten-minute prayer to start a day.
- Write to your MP and let them know your views.
Before all else, the Gospel invites us to respond to the God of love who saves us, to see God in others and to go forth from ourselves to seek the good of others.”
From Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium: The Joy of the Gospel
You have given humans the intellect to create vaccines capable of protecting all of your children.
Give us the generosity of spirit that we may share this great gift with all of humankind.
Create in us a sense of community that sees beyond nations and geography to embrace all peoples in all places.
Sustain the carers as they reveal your mercy.
Support those who are suffering and bring your healing.
Give us the courage to speak out for justice.
Enlighten our political leaders so that they may choose wise paths for all, aware of the common good, embracing the call to solidarity.
Help us to see God in others and to go forth to seek the good of all.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen
*The Vaccine Justice initiative was started by Christian Aid