Day 3 Hope in Hard Times: A Novena with Dorothy Day


Photo: Closed Social Security Office, Harlem, NYC 4/15/2020

The Dorothy Day Guild asks its members and others to “spiritually gather” (in the words of Pope Francis) to pray a novena for solidarity and compassion in this challenging time. Dorothy vividly remembered the California earthquake of 1906, which she lived through as a child during her family’s time in San Francisco. She was deeply influenced by seeing how that disaster brought people together. The memory stayed with her for the rest of her life, as a blueprint for true charity and hospitality.

We pray for the repose of the loved ones we have lost during this tragic time and the consolation of their families and friends. Today, we also pray for the many people who are out of work and who face want in this time of fear. We ask that they find support in our communities. Let us pray that we open our hearts, extend our arms, and act with magnanimity.

“What I remember most plainly about the earthquake was the human warmth and kindliness of everyone afterward. For days refugees poured out of burning San Francisco and camped in Idora Park and the race track in Oakland. People came in their night clothes; there were new-born babies…. everyone’s heart was enlarged by Christian charity. All the hard crust of worldly reserve and prudence was shed. Each person was a little child in friendliness and warmth. Mother and all our neighbors were busy from morning to night cooking hot meals. They gave away every extra garment they possessed. They stripped themselves to the bone in giving, forgetful of the morrow. While the crisis lasted, people loved each other … It makes one think of how people could, if they would, care for each other in time of stress, unjudgingly, with pity and with love.”

― Dorothy Day, From Union Square to Rome

Prayer for the Canonization of Servant of God Dorothy Day (1897 – 1980)

God our Father,
Your servant Dorothy Day exemplified
the Catholic faith by her life
of prayer, voluntary poverty,
works of mercy, and
witness to the justice and peace
of the Gospel of Jesus.
May her life inspire your people
to turn to Christ as their Savior,
to see His face in the world’s poor, and
to raise their voices for the justice
of God’s kingdom.
I pray that her holiness may be recognized by your Church
And that you grant the following favor that I humbly ask through her intercession:
(here mention your request)
I ask this through Christ our Lord.

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