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The Octave of Christian Unity: Day One (Jan. 18)


image of Saints Andrew and Peter

Prayer Focus: Unity among all Christians, with a particular focus on Catholic and Orthodox relations, due to so many common beliefs and practices
Specific Request: Pope Francis, Patriarch Bartholomew, and leaders of all faithful Christian communities.

Daily Prayer
Heavenly Father, Your blessed Son asked that His Church be one
as You and He are one,
but Christians have not been united as He prayed.
We have isolated ourselves from each other
and have failed to listen to each other.
We have misunderstood and ridiculed
and even gone so far as to attack each other.

In doing so we have offended against You,
against all our brothers and sisters in the Church
and against all who have not believed in You
because of our scandalous disunity.
Forgive us Father,
and make us fully one.
Blot out our sins,
renew our minds,
rekindle our hearts,
and guide us by Your Holy Spirit
into the oneness that is Your Will.
Prayer for the Unity of the Church from the New St. Joseph People's Prayer Book

Other Devotional Activity: offer an activity and/or prayer(s) in petition for Orthodox-Catholic Unity (e.g. fasting, Hail Mary, Jesus Prayer, etc.).


Western Reading
Sermon XXXI, On the Feast of the Epiphany I by Pope (St) Leo the Great

Eastern Reading
Homily XII (Gospel of Matthew) St. John Chrysostom

Note: Leo was the Bishop of Rome (Pope) and John was Bishop of Constantinople (Patriarch). Both are considered saints by the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.

Practical Activity

If you are Catholic, read more about the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches. A good book is the Orthodox Way by Orthodox bishop Kallistos Ware. For the Orthodox, read more about the Catholic Church. A good book is Handbook for Today's Catholic. Check out the Catechism of the Catholic Church (online) for more detail. If possible, Catholics may want to discuss what they've learned with their Orthodox friends and vice-versa. Also, make an effort to understand the perspective of Protestant traditions.

Note that the image is the Calling of Peter and Andrew by Buoninsegna, representing Rome and Constantinople, respectively.