Archbishop Charles Chaput joins Bishop Francis Kalabat of the Chaldean Diocese of St. Thomas the Apostle in encouraging Catholics to pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary for her intercession on behalf of persecuted Christians in the Middle East.

Over the past year Christians especially in Iraq and Syria have been forced from their homes and martyred for their faith.

Catholics are asked to include the following prayer for the intention of the persecuted as they recite the rosary:

Mother of God, Virgin Mary, be for us a safeguard from all illnesses and hardships. Through the great love you have for Christ, ask and beseech him to be merciful to us, to give healing to our ailments, to console the downtrodden, and to reunite those who are scattered and to forgive us.