Novena for Syria

Published on 27 Mar 2017
Collage of the life and martyrdom of Fr Frans by Farid Georges.

Please join us in praying for the people of Syria and all those who work for peace and reconciliation there.

We pray this novena especially as we approach the 4th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of Fr Frans van der Lugt SJ and praying for the immediate release of Fr Paolo dall’Oglio, SJ.

With thanks to Aid to the Church in Need for their work on this and many other projects and to Farid Georges for the use of his artwork. 

Prayer and intercession for peace in Syria

God of Compassion,

Hear the cries of the people of Syria;

Comfort those who suffer violence;

Console those who mourn the dead;

Give strength to those countries who welcome the refugees;

Convert the hearts of those who have taken up arms

And protect those who are committed to peace.

God of hope,

May the memory of your martyr Fr Frans, whose anniversary we commemorate, inspire leaders and all people of good will to choose peace over violence and to seek reconciliation with their enemies.

Inflame the Universal Church with compassion for all the people of Syria

And give us hope for a future built on justice for all.

We ask this through Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace and Light of the world.


Prayer for the release of Fr Paolo and all held in captivity

God of Mercy,

Hear our prayers for the immediate release of your priest Paolo, and of all those held in captivity amid the horrors of conflict in the Middle East;

Turn the hearts of their captors to compassion and justice;

Inspire all those working for their release to find a way to bring our brother Paolo and all those held against their will to freedom and safety.

We ask this through Christ Our Lord.

Our Lady, Queen of the Society of Jesus, pray for them;

St Ignatius, pray for them;

All the martyrs of England, pray for them;

St Charbel, pray for them;

St Ephrem, pray for them.

Fr Frans van der Lugt SJ was assassinated outside the Jesuit Community house in Homs on the morning of 7th April 2014. He had lived in Syria for more than 40 years, and was dedicated to reconciliation between Muslims and Christians. Just before his murder, he was providing pastoral and practical help for about 75 Christians trapped in the Old City of Homs as well as offering accommodation in the Jesuit Community to about 45 Muslims. Fr Frans is remembered as a martyr of reconciliation in the Middle East.

Fr Paolo dall’Oglio SJ re-founded the Deir Mar Musa, a sixth-century monastery 50 miles north of Damascus, which over 30 years he developed into a centre for interfaith dialogue.” As on 29th July 2013, nothing of substance has been heard of him. In 2014 he was awarded (in absentia) the Nobel Missionary Prize by the Missionary Association, Cuore Amico Fraternità. for his "great witness and strong commitment to interreligious dialogue". Pope Francis is among many who continue to call for his immediate release.