From January 18, the feast of St. Peter's Chair at Rome, until January 25, the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, the annual Church Unity Octave will be observed. This devotion was initiated in 1908 by the friars of the Society of the Atonement at Graymoor, Garrison, U.S.A. It has for its end—to quote Graymoor's own words in connection with the present year's observance" that in a concentration of our spiritual forces Our Lord will deign to illuminate the mind and move the hearts of mankind towards that Divine Unity which has its centre in the Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church under the guidance of the Vicar of Christ, Pope Pius XI."
The Eight Days' Intentions
Following are the intentions for which Catholics will pray during the Octave: January 18.—The return of all the "other sheep " to the One Fold of Peter, the One Shepherd January 19.—The return of all Oriental Separatists to Communion with the Apostolic See.
January 20.—The submission of Anglicans to the authority of the Vicar of Christ.
January 21--That the Lutherans and all other Protestants of Continental Europe may find their way "Back to Holy Mother Church."
January 22.—That Christians in the country may become one in Communion with the Chair of St. Peter.
January 23.—The return to the Sacraments of all lapsed Catholics.
.Trniva.ry 24.—The conversion of the Jews.
January 25.—The Missionary Conquest of the world for Christ.
For many years past a considerable number of High Anglicans, also, have observed, and have sought to promote, the Church Unity Octave. Anglican literature on the subject, so far as this has reached the CAAruotac Hama, besides avowing recognition of the Roman Primacy, states that " our business is to work and pray for Unity upon the basis of full dogmatic agreement with the Holy See."
In setting out the respective intentions, it may be noted, the Anglican promoters do not always employ the text printed above and approved for Catholic use. Thus the intention for January 18 omits the specific reference to Peter, the One Shepherd. For January 19, " Reunion of the Eastern and Western Churches" expresses with less Incisiveness than the words above printed the intention of the Holy See in this regard. The intention for January 20 Is given as " The repairing of the sixteenth-century breach between England and Rome "; and for January 22. " The return of all Dissidents to Holy Church."
The Times are Perilous
Emphasis is laid upon the timeliness of this octave of prayer as making for a united force against the Totalitarian menace to Christianity.
Graymoor's organ, the Lamp, bids us note that "headlines in the secular Press carry their blatant messages from the various dictators of the world who are planning greater territorial conquests." The Anglican manifesto urges that " Christians would be unwise to overlook the fact that whereas some years ago the prospects were indeed fair, now a dark shadow has been cast and many obstacles presented by the rise of fanatical Nationalism coupled with the false doctrine of the Totalitarian State."