Pope Francis has declared Sept. 1 as the first annual Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, which follows on the heels of the his recent encyclical, “Laudato Si.”

The encyclical, which focuses on the care of our common home, highlights the need to safeguard God’s gift of creation. It will be celebrated by the Catholic and Orthodox churches.

Archbishop Charles Chaput encourages the clergy and faithful of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to observe the day and to use the following petition may be included with the Universal Prayer in the Mass:

“For the protection of God’s gift of creation, that this effort on the part of government leaders and everyone will help to overcome the routine abuse and neglect of our common home.  Let us pray to the Lord.”