Today marks the first National Day of Prayer for Victims and Survivors of Abuse held by Italian Bishops’ Conference.

The initiative is an invitation for prayer to support the recovery of victims, survivors, families, and communities – “whoever has been wounded inside or outside the Church.”

At his Wednesday general audience, Pope Francis joined the initiative in prayer, hoping it will be “an opportunity for reflection, awareness, and prayer to support the paths of human and spiritual recovery of the victims.”

“It is the necessary duty of everyone who has a role in educating the family, in the parish, in schools, in places of recreation and sport, to protect and respect the adolescents and young people entrusted to their care. For it is precisely in these places that most abuses occur.”

According to the World Health Organization, 9.6% of the 204 million children under the age of 18 in the European region have been sexually abused.

Pray below two official prayers from the initiative.

For the Victims and Survivors of Sexual Abuse


Since your mercy has been revealed

In the tenderness of your Son Jesus Christ,

who said to his disciples:

“Suffer the little children to come unto me”,

we pray that your Church may be a secure home

where all children and vulnerable adults are brought closer to your Beloved Son.

May all those who have been abused

physically, emotionally and sexually by your ministers,

be respected and accompanied by

tangible gestures of justice and reparation so that

they may feel healed with the balm of your compassion.

We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord


Heavenly Father,

who loves and cares for all of your children, especially the smallest and most vulnerable, we entrust to you the lives of the many children and vulnerable adults, who have been sexually abused, and whose trust and innocence have been destroyed. Help us to hear their cries of pain and to take responsibility for so many broken lives.

We pray that within their communities and families they may find understanding and support so that with the help of your grace their wounds may be healed, and they may again know peace.

Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who shared our weakness in all things but sin, and lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit forever and ever.


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  1. Children – they are the future leaders of Planet Earth. May each child be blessed with a happy present and a bright future.


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