Read a prayer shared at the URI Europe Sub-Regional Meeting in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, prepared by the Orthodox Christian team of URI in Europe:
This Sacred Opening was dedicated to 21 September, the International Day of Peace.
The final Sacred Opening on Sunday, 17th of September, before the last session of URI Europe Sub-Regional Meeting in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (14-17 September 2017), was prepared by the Orthodox Christian team of URI in Europe.
Firstly, an Orthodox prayer of Elder Paisios Athonite for the Whole World was read by Rev. Petar Gramatikov (Global Trustee from Europe) and Mrs. Angelina Vladikova (URI Europe CC Liaison Officer). This prayer was given to a convent which had asked the Elder for a prayer rule that could be used by the nuns in their evening vigils. This directive was given to the nuns during the final years of his life. It would be correct to add intentions as your heart directs, and to say this prayer as part of your daily rule.
After the Orthodox prayer, fully in concert with the motto of the Europe sub-Regional meeting (“All unique, all united – hand in hand for peace, justice and healing"), all the URI participants from Europe, in order to commemorate in advance the UN International Day of Peace, prayed in one voice the Nuclear Prayer, written by the Rt. Rev. William E. Swing, member of Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons CC, and Founder and President of URI.
Prayer of Elder Paisios*
Our Lord Jesus Christ:
Do not abandon Thy servants who live far away from the Church. May Thy love convict them and bring them back to Thee.
Lord have mercy on Thy servants who are suffering from cancer.
Lord have mercy on Thy servants who suffer either from small or serious ailments.
Lord have mercy on Thy servants who suffer from physical infirmities.
Lord have mercy on Thy servants who suffer from spiritual infirmities.
Lord have mercy on our leaders and inspire them to govern with Christian love.
Lord have mercy on children who come from troubled homes.
Lord have mercy on troubled families and those who have been divorced.
Lord have mercy on all the orphans of the world, on all those who are suffering pain and injustices since losing their spouses.
Lord have mercy on all those in jail, on all anarchists, on all drug abusers, on all murderers, on all abusers of people, and on all thieves. Enlighten these people and help them to straighten out their lives.
Lord have mercy on all those who have been forced to emigrate.
Lord have mercy on all those who travel on the seas, on land, in the air, and protect them.
Lord have mercy on our Church, the bishops, the priests and the faithful of the Church.
Lord have mercy on all the monastic communities, male and female, the elders and eldresses and all the brotherhoods of Mt. Athos.
Lord have mercy on Thy servants who find themselves in the midst of war.
Lord have mercy on Thy servants who are being pursued in the mountains and on the plains.
Lord have mercy on Thy servants who are being hunted like birds of prey.
Lord have mercy on Thy servants who were forced to abandon their homes and their jobs and feel afflicted.
Lord have mercy on the poor, the homeless and the exiled.
Lord have mercy on the nations of the world. Keep them in Thy embrace and envelope them with Thy holy protection. Keep them safe from every evil and war. Keep our beloved homelands in Thy protective embrace day and night. Embrace her with Thy holy protection defending her from all evil and war.
Lord have mercy on those who have been abandoned and have suffered injustice. Have mercy on families that are going through trying times. Pour Thy abundant love upon them.
Lord have mercy on Thy servants who suffer from spiritual and bodily problems of all kinds.
Lord have mercy on those who are despairing. Help them and grant them peace.
Lord have mercy on those that have requested that we pray for them.
Lord grant eternal rest to all those who have passed on to eternal life throughout the ages.
*Bio: Saint Paisios of Mount Athos, born Arsenios Eznepidis (1924–1994), was a well-known Greek Eastern Orthodox ascetic from Mount Athos, who originated from Pharasa, Cappadocia. He was respected for his spiritual guidance and ascetic life and many people worldwide highly venerate Elder Paisios, especially in Greece and in Russia.
Venerable Elder Paisios was canonized on 13 January 2015 by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and the church commemorates his feast day on July 12.
The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church decided at its meeting of May 5, 2015 also to add the name of the Venerable Paisios of Mount Athos to the Menology of the Russian Orthodox Church, establishing his feast day on June 29/July 12, following the Menology of the Orthodox Church of Constantinople
On a remote, narrow peninsula in the Aegean Sea lies the monastic republic of Mt. Athos, spiritual heart of the Orthodox Christian world. For centuries monks have lived and prayed here for the salvation of their souls and the world, and every devout Orthodox Christian male strives to make the pilgrimage to Mt. Athos at least once in his life. Elder Paissios (1924-1994) is considered by many to have been one of the Holy Mount’s greatest ascetics of the 20th Century. Over the course of his life the words of this humble Greek monk, who came to be honored by believers as an “holy elder” (geronta in Greek, starets in Russian), were recorded by the thousands who journeyed to seek his advice and prophecies. In the following quotes Paissios warns of the great cataclysms which await us in our Apocalyptic times. His counsel of spiritual preparedness and how to achieve it will be of use to all those who strive to do good while maintaining spiritual equilibrium in a world growing increasingly hostile to our salvation. Paissios seems to have foreseen everything: the ever more frequent and senseless wars and the growing totalitarianism of “Schengen Europe”, “Homeland Securitized” America and “Putinized” Russia, the downward slide of our modern, globalized world into licentiousness and madness, the approaching Last Judgement:
“There’s a war on today, a holy war…”
“If the Metropolitans are silent, then who will speak?”
“Today’s situation can be resisted only spiritually, not by worldly means. The storm will continue to rage a bit, will throw all the flotsam, everything unnecessary, onto the shore, and then the situation will become clearer. Some will receive their reward, while others will have to pay their debts…
They’re silent out of indifference. What’s bad is that even people who’ve got something inside have begun to grow cool, saying: “Can I really do anything to change the situation?” We have to witness our faith with boldness, because if we continue to be silent we’ll have to answer in the end. In these difficult days each must do what’s in their power. And leave what’s out of their power to the will of God. In this way our conscience will be clear.