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Knights of Columbus Sponsors 'Spiritual Pilgrimage' with Pope During His Journey to Turkey

Contact: Andrew Walther, Director of Media Relations, Knights of Columbus, 203-752-4253, 818-522-2005 cell


NEW HAVEN, Conn., Nov. 17 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Knights of Columbus has announced that it will sponsor a "spiritual pilgrimage" with Pope Benedict XVI as he travels to Turkey in later this month. Knights, their families, and all Catholics are being asked to pray daily for the Pontiff during his journey, which begins on Tuesday, November 28 and concludes on Friday, December 1.


Knights will pray for the pope's intentions beginning on November 26, the Sunday before the pope departs (the Solemnity of Christ the King). In addition, the Knights of Columbus will print and distribute cards with a special prayer written by the Order's Supreme Chaplain, Bishop William E. Lori. Knights and others joining in the Spiritual Pilgrimage will say the prayer each day during the pope's trip.


The prayer asks that the pope's visit will bring about "deeper ties of understanding, cooperation, and peace among Roman Catholics, the Orthodox, and those who profess Islam." And it asks that "Pope Benedict be kept safe from all harm as he prays, bears witness to the Gospel, and invites all peoples to a dialogue of faith, reason, and love." The full text of the prayer is available at http://www.kofc.org/pilgrimage. A PDF file of the prayer card can be found through this link.


"Only a few Catholics can physically travel with the Holy Father to Turkey," Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson said, "but millions of us can be united with him in prayer during his pilgrimage for peace."


"We will ask Our Lady of Fatima to intercede for the pope during this journey," Anderson continued. "Mary is regarded with special esteem by people of the Islamic faith, and this is especially true under her title Our Lady of Fatima, since Fatima was the name of the prophet Mohammed's daughter."


The Knights of Columbus is the world's largest lay Catholic organization, with more than 1.7 million members in North and Central America, the Philippines and Poland.