The Archdiocese of Philadelphia released the official prayer and image for the highly anticipated World Meeting of Families, which is set to take place in Philly September of next year.
Archbishop Charles Chaput unveiled the prayer and image during Sunday evening Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul.
"The prayer and iconic image will inspire everyone as we continue to prepare for the 2015 World Meeting of Families," said Archbishop Chaput. "With their focus on enriching and reenergizing the spiritual life of families - both Catholic and non-Catholic alike, I'm hopeful that this prayer and image can help all of us to examine our minds and hearts and deepen our relationships with God and our families in meaningful ways."
The official prayer, inspired by the World Meeting of Families theme, “Love is our mission: the family fully alive,” is meant to aid delegates around the world in their spiritual preparation for the conference, according to Archdiocese officials. The official prayer is the following:
God and Father of us all,
in Jesus, your Son and our Savior,
you have made us
your sons and daughters
in the family of the Church.
May your grace and love
help our families
in every part of the world
be united to one another
in fidelity to the Gospel.
May the example of the Holy Family,
with the aid of your Holy Spirit,
guide all families, especially those most troubled,
to be homes of communion and prayer
and to always seek your truth and live in your love.
through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, pray for us!
The official image was created by Neilson Carlin, an artist based in Kennett Square, Pa. The oil painting depicts Mary, Joseph and Jesus as a small child as well as Mary’s parents, Saints Anna and Joachim. It’s a four-by-five foot canvas which will be on display in the Cathedral Basilica through the conclusion of the World Meeting of Families, which will be held September 22 to September 27 in 2015.
“I am both honored and humbled by the opportunity to use my talents to serve the Church, my fellow Catholics and this global event, which hopefully will welcome Pope Francis,” Carlin said. “Inspired by the theme of 'Love is our mission,' it is my sincerest hope that this image will be a source of prayer and contemplation that draws people of all faiths in and ultimately makes them feel closer and more connected to their own families."
Archdiocese officials say the prayer and image will also be shared with the Pontifical Council of the Family at the Vatican during Archbishop Chaput’s visit to Rome the week of September 15.
Held every three years, the World Meeting of Families is the world’s largest Catholic gathering of families. Visit the official website for more information.