Church in Venezuela calls for a day of prayer and fasting for the liberation of the country

Prayer vigil EvGavrilov/Shutterstock

In commemorating the June 24 centennial of the Battle of Carabobo, the Venezuelan bishops’ conference highlighted on their website a day of prayer and fasting promoted by Jesus the Good Shepherd parish in the Coro archdiocese.

The Battle of Carabobo pitted Venezuelan patriots against Spanish royalist forces, and the patriots’ victory in 1821 marked a turning point in the country’s struggle for Independence from colonial Spain.

Called “Venezuela lives and journeys with Jesus Christ, the Lord of history,” the parish day of prayer and fasting included adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. 

Parishioners prayed for the liberation of the country, the improvement of living conditions and the end of the coronavirus pandemic. 

In their press release about the parish event, the bishops said that all the intentions of the day would be “be placed in the hands of the Lord for the common good of the inhabitants of this country," and pointed to the bicentennial commemoration as "as a sign of hope for Venezuela."

The bishops’ conference also issued a message to the nation’s faithful to commemorate the battle. 

The historical event, they said, “marked a before and after in the history of this country, representing the liberation and independence of Venezuela from the Spanish yoke, with a battalion commanded by the liberator Simón Bolívar, who together with men and women gave everything for a free and happy nation.” Jesus the Good Shepherd parish wished to highlight and value this, “and show that only by the hand of God will everything be possible.”

In commemorating the Battle of Carabobo, the bishops’ conference called on all the churches in the country to ring their bells, celebrate Mass and renew the consecration of the country to the Blessed Sacrament.

The bicentennial “is an opportune moment to give thanks to the one and only God of life and love for his loving presence in Venezuela," the bishops said.

They also stressed that "the dark storm clouds that hang over the country and the consequences of bad political practices in recent years bring out the urgent need to 're-found the nation.’"

"Based on the principles that constitute citizenship in the nation, inspired by the witness of so many men and women who made Independence possible, the task that concerns us today and for the future is to remake Venezuela, but without looking back with nostalgia," they added.

The bishops noted that "the heritage that has been received allows us to move forward and build the Venezuela that the vast majority yearn for and feel to be their task: where justice, equity, fraternity, solidarity, unity and peace prevail."

The bishops asked all the laity "to spare no effort and be the main collaborators in this task that we find before our eyes," and asked the clergy to "be guides" to encourage the "re-founding of Venezuela."

“It is certainly a task with political characteristics,” the bishops noted, “but is not partisan or at the service of any political ideology.” In response to the call of God, “the Church will participate in this task with the awareness of continuing to carry out the 'new creation' (cf. Gal 6:15) with which the full liberation initiated and desired by the Lord Jesus may be made present in Venezuela.” 

Since current president Nicolas Maduro succeeded Hugo Chávez as president of Venezuela in 2013, Venezuela has been marred by violence, and political and social upheaval. Under the socialist government, the country has seen severe shortages of necessary goods and hyperinflation, and millions have emigrated.

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