Rome, Italy, Jan 25, 2021 / 11:39 am America/Denver (CNA).
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity concluded Monday with Vespers at the tomb of St. Paul.
Pope Francis was unable to attend the evening prayer Jan. 25 at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls due to a resurgence of sciatic nerve pain, but the pope’s prepared homily for the occasion was read by Cardinal Kurt Koch, the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
“Dear brothers and sisters, may we remain united in Christ. May the Holy Spirit, poured into our hearts, make us feel like children of the Father, brothers and sisters of one another, brothers and sisters in our one human family. May the Holy Trinity, communion of love, make us grow in unity,” Koch said.
On the feast of the conversion of St. Paul, the cardinal venerated St. Paul’s relics alongside the vicar archbishop of the Romanian Orthodox diocese of Italy, Atanasie Rusnac, and Anglican Archbishop Ian Ernest, the director of the Anglican Centre in Rome.
The Church dedicates one week each January to prayer for unity among all Christians. The theme of this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity was “abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit.”