World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation

The Orthodox Church has celebrated a Day of Prayer for the Environment on September 1 since 1989. Metropolitan John of Pergamon represented the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople at the public presentation of Pope Francis` encyclical in June and suggested at that time that all Christians join in prayer on September 1.

In early August, in a letter sent to Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and to Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Pope Francis announced the establishment of a World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation in the Roman Catholic Church, to be observed annually on September 1.

In the text of the letter, Pope Francis said he was instituting the day of prayer for Catholics because he shares the concern of the Ecumenical Patriarch. ,“As Christians we wish to offer our contribution to resolving the ecological crisis which humanity is presently experiencing”.

The annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, Pope Francis said, will be a time for individuals and communities to "reaffirm their personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which he has entrusted to our care, and to implore his help for the protection of creation as well as his pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live."

Catholics are encouraged to organize prayer and practical initiatives to combat the environmental crisis facing our planet, and to reflect on the ways our lifestyles impact the environment.