Day of Prayer for Survivors of Abuse 2024

16 Feb 2024

The Church’s Day of Prayer for Survivors and Victims of  Abuse takes place today, 16 February, the first Friday of Lent.  The Day of Prayer is an initiative of Pope Francis and was first marked in Irish dioceses in 2017.  Blessed candles will be lit in parishes across the country as a reminder to the faithful of the need for atonement and to symbolise repentance; light in the darkness and hope.  These ‘Candles of Atonement’ will be lit in diocesan cathedrals and churches on the Day of Prayer, and thereafter during the celebration of Mass and other liturgies.  The lighting of the ‘Candle of Atonement’, and the following prayer, are based on the very moving Penitential Rite composed and prayed by Pope Francis at the final Mass of the 9th World Meeting of Families on 26 August 2018 at Phoenix Park, Dublin, when the Holy Father implored the Lord’s mercy for the crimes of abuse and asked for forgiveness.


  • Towards Peace Spiritual Support Service

Towards Peace is an independent organization that provides a spiritual support and professional service for survivors of physical, emotional, sexual and spiritual abuse who suffered in an institutional, clerical or religious setting in Ireland.  Funded by the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference and the Association of Missionary and Religious in Ireland, the vision of Towards Peace is to provide a safe supportive space for people and their families, whose spiritual life has been damaged by abuse.  Through spiritual accompaniment with a qualified spiritual director, Towards Peace endeavours to accompany people as they seek their own experience of spiritual peace, one step at a time.  Towards Peace is also a response to the continually growing understanding of the spiritual impact of the trauma of abuse and seeks to raise awareness about this within the Church.  The Towards Peace Spiritual Support Service is free of charge and for more please see

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