The ACN Week of Witness is an invitation to Christians across the island of Ireland to stand in solidarity with, and bear witness to the heroic example of, our persecuted brothers and sisters in faith across the world.
ACN Ireland, as a Pontifical Foundation, is part of the Church in a most profound way – to help our Church heal our world. Being present with and for the most vulnerable of God’s people is vital to achieving this, no matter how perilous the environment.
Through the Church’s pastoral care, through the Holy Sacraments, through the heroic witness of Christians martyrs, God’s Grace provides the Church – and the world – with the means of bringing the Light and Love of Christ to places and people where before there was only darkness and hate.
The ACN Week of Witness will be held every year from 25 November to 1 December, with many important talks and exhibitions to be held throughout the island of Ireland on the theme of Christian persecution. During the ACN Week of Witness, ACN Ireland, with the gracious and prayerful assistance of your dioceses and parishes throughout the country, will hold the Red Wednesday Prayer Vigil. Red Wednesday is an opportunity for the faithful to gather as a community of witnesses and pray not only for persecuted Christians – but also for the persecutors of Christians.
Thus, throughout the ACN Week of Witness and Red Wednesday, you and your dioceses can be a vibrant example of the beauty and dignity of Christian culture as well as a witness to the reality of the historic and current oppression and martyrdom of Christian peoples globally.
This year, Red Wednesday will be held on 27 November. Resources, including media and the digital ACN Parish Pack, are also available the ACN Ireland website at www.acnireland.org/witness
During the Week of Witness, you can – even in a small yet profound manner – bear personal witness to God’s Love and Mercy for the persecuted Church through our Ways to Witness:
- ILLUMINATING your Church or school in red to show the world that the sacrifice and suffering of the persecuted and martyred Church is an ongoing reality.
- WEARING a red tie, scarf or scapular as a mark of the blood lost by Christians in defence of our Faith.
- PRAYING for the suffering and persecuted Church at the hours of the Angelus, 1200 and 1800 and during Holy Mass, asking your Parish Priest to consider giving his homily on the theme of persecution and martyrdom in the Church.
- ATTENDING a Red Wednesday Prayer Vigil.
- BLESSING oneself in public when having a meal, passing a graveyard or a Church.
- DONATING to ACN Ireland to help in our work for persecuted Christians globally – your donations constitute a powerful corporal work of mercy and, when you order a Mass Card or Mass Offering through ACN Ireland, 100% of your offering goes directly to help support a priest provide pastoral care and ministry to the suffering Church.
You, through your help and support of ACN Ireland, can help make a world in which Christianity can thrive everywhere. In pursuit of this charism and mission, we at ACN Ireland are so grateful for your prayers and donations to help make this reality, by the Grace of God.
Aid to the Church in Need Leaflet