Pope Francis called to “stop the worldwide war against our common home” during today’s General Audience.
On September 1st, the Feast of Creation, also known as World Day Of Prayer For The Care Of Creation, kicks off the 2023 Season of Creation under the theme ‘Let Justice and Peace Flow.’
To celebrate, Pope Francis calls everyone to listen to the ‘victims of environmental and climatic injustice’ and to ‘put an end to this senseless war against creation.’
On September 1st, Season of Creation starts. This year, bearing the theme ‘Let Justice and Peace Flow‘ and symbolized by the ‘mighty river,’ it commences on September 1st with the Feast of Creation (also known as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation) and concludes on October 4th, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi.
In his message for the Feast of Creation, Pope Francis stated, ‘In this Season of Creation, as followers of Christ on our shared synodal journey, let us live, work and pray that our common home will teem with life once again. May the Holy Spirit once more hover over the waters and guide our efforts to “renew the face of the earth.’
He further emphasized the ‘rhythm of the created heart and the heart of God,‘ which ‘do not beat in harmony; they are not harmonized in justice and peace.‘ Hence, Pope Francis called for standing beside ‘the victims of environmental and climate injustice and to put an end to the senseless war against creation.‘
The Holy Father also remarks on today’s General Audience, the urgent need to “stop the war against our common home” and remember His will to publicize an apostolic exhortation, a “second Laudato Si” at the end of the Season of Creation, on October 4th.
This year, the beginning of this ecumenical time of prayer and action will happen during the apostolic journey of the Holy Father to Mongolia (Aug 31st – Sep 4th), a country, according to recent reports, seriously impacted by the climate crisis, where floods destroy infrastructures while dzuds cause crop and livestock losses in agriculture and air pollution has a high impact on people’s health.
The opening event will be an ecumenical prayer service on September 1st, with participation from ecumenical leaders guiding a moment of reflection. The event will be streamed in English on YouTube, with simultaneous translations in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and French available on Zoom.
Throughout the Season of Creation, global and regional events will span diverse topics, including prayer services, an ecumenical prayer vigil in St. Peter’s Square organized by Taize, on Sep. 30th, endorsing and promoting the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty (FFNPT) for mitigating the climate change crisis by the Church in Latin America, Oceania and Africa, natural area cleanups, seminars, and more. The complete list of events can be found here.
In particular, the Laudato Si’ Movement extends a special invitation to join the campaign to pray and act for climate justice leading up to COP 28. The campaign involves prayers for political leaders with responsibilities in the upcoming COP and for all those tasked with immediate decisions to address the climate crisis. Using hashtags such as #PrayingForYou #COP28 and #SeasonOfCreation, people and communities are encouraged to pray for their political leaders and share a photo of their prayer on social media.
The Season of Creation offers an opportunity to renew our relationship with the Creator and all of creation through communal celebration, conversion, and personal commitment. During this time, the Catholic Church stands united with the ecumenical family in prayer and action for our common home.
For more information about the Season of Creation, visit the website seasonofcreation.org