The "Fundacao Ajuda à Igreja que Sofre", Portuguese branch of the international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), has called upon all Bishops and heads of religious institutions in Portugal to observe a day of prayer on July 13 in communion with persecuted Christians all over the world.
"The date of July 13 has great significance for all of us," Father Jacinto Farias, Ecclesiastical Assistant of ACN Portugal, writes in a letter addressed to all Bishops residing in Portugal, to the Rector of the Sanctuary of Fatima, to the heads of the Fatima-based monasteries and all contemplative monasteries in Portugal.
It was precisely the message of Our Lady of Fatima to the shepherd children, on July 13, 1917, that inspired Father Werenfried (1913 - 2003) to found ACN in 1947. In 1967, ACN was consecrated to Our Lady for the first time, a consecration which has been renewed several times since then. ACN staff at the charity's international headquarters in Königstein, Germany, will join the Portuguese branch in praying especially for the needs of the silent Church, wherever Christians are being persecuted or oppressed.