Pope Francis has established 1 September as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, encouraging the Catholic community around the world to pray for our common home.
The day is inspired by Pope Francis' landmark encyclical Laudato Si’, which calls on "every person living on this planet" to care for our shared Earth.
He calls us all to celebrate this opportune moment to “reaffirm [our] personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which he has entrusted to our care, and to implore his help for the protection of creation, as well as his pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live.”
Season of Creation
This World Day of Prayer also falls at the beginning of the Season of Creation, which runs until 4 October, the feast of St Francis of Assisi. This is an ecumenical season dedicated to prayer for the protection of creation and the promotion of sustainable lifestyles.
How to respond to the World Day of Prayer
There are many ways to respond to Pope Francis’ call to care for the gift of God’s creation – why not take some time out of your day on 1 September to walk in your local park or take a few moments to thank God for the flowers growing in your garden?
The Bishops' Conference of England and Wales offer a prayer for the day. You can also join us in praying the joyful mysteries of the rosary for the care of creation. Despite the challenges we face in caring for our common home, we are called to hope and joy and so we offer these reflections on the joyful mysteries to nourish our commitment to care for the Earth.
If you have young children you may also like to explore our family prayer resources on the wonders of creation and our responsibility to nurture and protect it.
We also have a novena to Saint Francis of Assisi, which you could begin today, or you could pray it in the nine days leading up to Saint Francis' feast at the end of the Season of Creation. These beautiful prayers are based on Saint Francis' Canticle of the Sun and guide us to care for the Earth and our most vulnerable brothers and sisters.
The World Day of Prayer is another opportunity for us to connect with our creator God and allow the Lord to redefine our relationship with the environment: from one of consumption and control to one of care and protection.
In parishes or groups
You could celebrate Mass with a focus on the climate and care of creation.
Or get together with others from your parish and reflect on the themes of Laudato Si'. This encyclical reminds us that we have a responsibility to our Earth, each other and to generations yet to come.
If you cannot mark the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation itself, you could use these resources at any time during the Season of Creation (1 September – 4 October 2021).