The first is for peace in the Middle East, and is to be marked on the feast day of St John Damascene, and has gained an added urgency in the light of the Israeli assault on Gaza:
Conscious of the civil war in Syria and its impact on neighbouring countries, as well as the continuing conflict in the Holy Land, the Bishops’ Conference asks that a day of prayer for peace in the Middle East be observed on 4 December 2012, the Feast of St John Damascene.The second is a day of prayer for the victims of trafficking and those who work to combat it, to be marked on the feast day of St Josephine Bakhita:
The Bishops’ Conference commends the request to observe the Feast of St Josephine Bakhita - 8 February - as a Day of Prayer for Victims of Trafficking and those who work to combat it.It wold be nice if these days were to be marked by times of prayer in parishes, perhaps before the Eucharist. One dimension of times of Eucharistic Adoration is that of intercession at a time of urgent need, and these two intentions would reflect that dimension of Eucharistic Adoration. Individuals could also try to make a special effort to attend Mass on these days.
The choice of feast days, and the appropriateness of the lives of the saints involved for the intentions of prayer suggested for these days, reminds us of the universality of the Catholic Church, a universality in both space and time. The participation of individuals and ecclesial communities in these days of prayer would also express a readiness of communion with their bishops.