In solidarity with numerous bishops in France, Archbishop Christian Lépine invites all parishes of the diocese to ring their church bells this Saturday, August 15 at noon, in support of Christians in the Middle-East.

Dear Faithful of the Archdiocese of Montreal,

We all share the sorrow and concern for Christians in the Middle East, who are experiencing tremendous persecution that goes beyond discrimination, as they are being hunted down and executed, especially in Iraq and in Syria. Families, driven to despair by violent and relentless extremism, need to know that we have not forgotten them, that we carry in our hearts, minds, and prayers the men, women, children, and young people who are suffering so greatly.

I invite all parishes, missions, and communities to ring their church bells on August 15 at noon, to signify the call for all of us to stay informed, pray, and show solidarity. On that same date and time, I invite everyone everywhere to take a moment of silence to pray to God for the violence to end, and to turn to the intercession of Mary for paths towards peace, which at this time seem so unattainable, to be opened. .

Prayer to Our Lady who brings down the walls:

Most Holy Mother of God,

We pray to you as mother of the Church, mother of all Christians who suffer.

We beg you, through your ardent intercession, to bring down this wall, the walls of our hearts, and all the walls that generate hatred, violence, fear, and indifference between people and between nations.

You who crushed the ancient Serpent by your Fiat, gather and unite us under your virginal cloak, protect us from all evil, and open forever in our lives the gate of Hope.

Bring to birth in us and in our world the civilization of Love that sprang forth from the Cross and Resurrection of your divine Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns forever. Amen. .

In addition to your prayers, I invite you to make a humble gesture of solidarity with a financial contribution, by means of a special collection (suggestion: Sunday, August 23), or by sending a donation directly to the Archdiocese of Montreal¹ payable to the CACRM², indicating that it is for the "Christians of the Middle East." We will provide a tax receipt to all those who request one, and the fruit of your generosity will be sent to the "Aid to the Church in Need," which has contacts and people on location to ensure that the spiritual and human needs of the individuals and families in distress are met.

May Jesus Christ, who gave his life for us, and whom we commemorate with every Eucharist, heal our memories, so we may never forget the persecuted Christians...He who never ceases to love, who helps us believe that divine love can conquer, in us and through us, pain, suffering, and death.

+ Christian Lépine
Archbishop of Montreal

¹ 2000, rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montréal, QC, H3H 1G4 
² Corporation archiépiscopale catholique romaine de Montréal