Our reflections on social justice and poverty


Eternal God,
we know you have a special love
for the poor and the little ones
and defend those
whose rights are trampled up on.

We pray for people treated unjustly,
sold like common merchandise,
youngsters, children even,
whose lives are valued
at less than thirty silver coins.

Merciful and caring God,
we believe you will not forget them.
Their names stand written
on the palm of your hand.

Make us realise that we, too,
have a task in this world
where markets decide,
not only the price of coffee
but also that of people.

Give us the courage to speak out
against injustice and abuse,
to stand with your smallest people
and denounce all injustice.

God, we ask you,
give all those who fight
against trafficking
understanding and determination;
give victims strength
and confidence in you.

Help us also, merciful God,
to pray for those,
that from idleness and coldness
bring the evil of trafficking
into our world.
May they come to realise their wrongdoing.

We ask you this
in the name of Jesus,
your son and our brother.

Prayer used for the EU Anti-trafficking day by Dutch Foundation of Religious against Trafficking in Women


Lord God, you are the source of all good things,
And You hear the cry of the poor and the afflicted,

Help us to see the face of your Son in all the victims of both natural and man-made disasters,

Like the Good Samaritan, may we never turn away from our suffering brothers and sisters, but be compassionate to them,

Like the widow who gave all she had to survive, may we always be ready to share who we are and what we have,

Bless and protect all Caritas workers and volunteers where ever they are helping to save lives, some time by putting their own lives in danger,

Welcome into your Kingdom all who have died and console their families,

We ask all this through Christ our Lord,
Who hears the cry of the poor and the pooressed.



O Mary, Immaculate Virgin, Woman of suffering and hope, be kind to every suffering person, obtain fullness of life for each one.

Turn your maternal gaze especially upon those in Africa whose need is extreme, struck down by AIDS or other mortal illness.

Look upon the mothers who are mourning their children; Look upon the grandparents who lack the resources to support their orphaned grandchildren.

Embrace them all, keep them close to your Mother’s heart.

Queen of Africa and of the whole world, Virgin Most Holy, pray for us!

Closing prayer of 2005 World Day of the Sick Message,
by Pope John Paul II, 8 September 200


Dearest God,
… Open our eyes and our hearts so that we are able to
see you in every one of your children.

May we embrace first ties that bind us to each other, and
recognise that you created us into one family for compassion,
caring and sharing.

From the time of birth, we need each other; other human
hands lifted us from the womb. We rely on others to feed us,
protect us, teach us, and love us into life.

Open our hearts to the needs of your innocent people
suffering from the persistent burden of hunger and mobilise
our spirits to respond to them. Counter the outrage and anger
we feel against injustice with love.

Grant that inspired by the vision of human solidarity, we
may invest our material resources in bringing liberation to
the despair of poverty and returning hope to your children.
Stir our hearts to compassionate action that transforms
suffering into redemptive love, now and forever more.

Prayer: Fr Ignatius Ikunza, Hakimani Jesuit Centre, Kenya.


God help us to change

To change ourselves
and to change our world.
To know the need for it.
To deal with the pain of it.
To feel the joy of it.

To understand the journey without
understanding the
The art of gentle revolution.

Prayer: Leunig. A Common Prayer. (Care of Caritas Australia)

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