NEW HAVEN, Conn., Feb. 11, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Knights of Columbus -- the world's largest Catholic fraternal group -- is asking its members and all Catholics to pray for the pope and the Church in anticipation of Pope Benedict XVI's retirement, scheduled for the end of this month.
The prayer, written by Knights of Columbus Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, reads:
May God bless our Holy Father and protect our Church!
This morning I issued the following statement to the media on behalf of all of us in response to Pope Benedict XVI's decision to relinquish the papacy:
“Catholic Americans join their brothers and sisters in the Faith around the world in humble acceptance of the decision today by Pope Benedict XVI to leave the Chair of Peter later this month. This historic decision comes fittingly as the Church prepares to enter the season of Lent, where marked with ashes, we are reminded of our human limits and utter dependence on the grace and providence of the Lord of history. We are mindful that the universality of the Church is particularly visible during these historic events where the prayer, tradition, and grandeur of Catholicism are on display for the world to see. We give thanks for the rich pontificate of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, and await with joyful hope and prayer the workings of the Holy Spirit in our Church in the weeks ahead.”
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of thy faithful.