During the month of August, Pope Francis has asked us to pray for seafarers, fishers, people of the sea and their families.
In a video message on the Pope Video website (part of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network), the Holy Father talks specifically about “all those who work and live from the sea” and asks that we pray for them and their families.
Pope Francis says, “The life of sailors or fishermen and their families is very difficult. Sometimes they are victims of forced labour or are left behind in distant ports. The competition of industrial fishing and the problem of pollution make their work even more complicated. Without the people of the sea, many parts of the world would starve. Let us pray for all those who work and live from the sea, among them sailors, fishermen and their families.”
Our society depends, probably more than many of us imagine, on the hard work of maritime workers and their families who have to face not only the dangers of nature —storms, hurricanes, etc.— but also human threats, such as piracy.
The Pope’s prayer video was made in collaboration with Stella Maris, which celebrates its centenary in October. Fr. Bruno Ciceri, Stella Maris International Director says, “Since the declaration of the pandemic by the World Health Organization, it’s evident that the life of sailors, fishermen, and their families has been affected significantly. As the situation continues evolving, our chaplains and volunteers are striving to work to support the needs of the people of the sea, and to ensure that they are not mistreated for their service to others while the pandemic lasts.”