Novena for peace in the Near East announced for Christians, innocents in region

Novena for Near East An emergency novena will take place between July 16-24, including the feast days of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Saint Charbel Makhlouf. | Credit: The Philos Project

In response to heightened tensions and violence plaguing the Middle Eastern region, the Philos Project and announced an emergency novena prayer, “Novena for Peace in the Near East.” 

The novena, which will take place between July 16–24, will implore protection for Christians and all innocent civilians in the region, particularly in Israel and Lebanon.

The Philos Project, whose mission is to “promote positive Christian engagement in the Near East by creating leaders, building community, and taking action in the spirit of the Hebraic tradition,” specifically chose these dates to align with major feast days.

“Mount Carmel in Israel is about 100 miles from Mount Lebanon,” noted Simone Rizkallah, deputy director of education at the Philos Project. “There’s a perfect novena in there from the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on July 16 to St. Charbel, a very important Maronite saint, on July 24.”

Simone Rizkallah is deputy director of education at the Philos Project. Credit: EWTN News/Screenshot
Simone Rizkallah is deputy director of education at the Philos Project. Credit: EWTN News/Screenshot

The announcement of the novena comes in the midst of ongoing clashes between the Israeli military and Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed, Shiite Muslim militant group based in Lebanon.

On July 3, an Israeli attack on southern Lebanon killed a top Hezbollah commander, making him the third high-ranking official in the group to be killed in recent months.

Many fear the implications that an all-out war would have between the militant group and Israel. “[A war between Israel and Hezbollah] would be something far more terrible than what we’ve seen with Hamas,” said Andrew Doran, a senior research fellow at the Philos Project. 

Appearing alongside Rizkallah in an interview with, Doran explained the gravity of the conflict: “Hezbollah is far more sophisticated. Their weaponry is more sophisticated, and this is a very different and more serious war that is pending here.”

Along with diplomatic efforts to prevent the escalation of the clashes — and, subsequently, a possible confrontation between Israel and Iran — the Philos Project and have taken the initiative to specifically encourage people to pray for the afflicted region.

“I do believe prayer can keep war off,” Rizkallah shared. “What I hope is that we really pray with affection knowing that our faith started in Jerusalem and our faith spread initially in these countries.”

Those who wish to participate in the Novena for Peace in the Near East initiative and sign up to receive the daily prayers via email can do so here.

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