#4 - August 24, 2003

Dear Friends of the Badaliya,

On Sunday August 3, 2003 we gathered for our Badaliya prayer in the Catholic Chapel at Brandeis University. The campus was quiet which added a contemplative dimension to our prayer.I had just returned from a visit with Nicole and Berengere Massignon in Paris where we met with some of the members of Les Amis de Louis Massignon organization. They encouraged us to continue our Badaliya prayer gatherings and are very interested in an English translation of the collection of convocations and letters that Massignon wrote every year until his death in 1962.

We are learning many more details about the evolution of the original Badaliya from these translations. The Convocations were written to invite the members to join in a personal day of fast on the first Fridays of each month, followed by a celebration of Mass and the hour-long Badaliya gathering for prayer. They agreed to topics for common prayer with the fast that included praying for the successful outcome of interreligious conferences and those attending them. In each letter there is a plea to pray for peace and non-violent reconciliation for the many areas of the world, especially the Middle East and the Holy Land where tensions and civil wars were raging at the time.

We also learned that the patroness of the original Badaliya was Our Lady of Pokrov whose feast is celebrated in the Byzantine calendar on October 1st. This is an image of Our Lady as intercessor who spreads her veil ("pokrov" in russian) as a sign of protection.

One of our members also shared the following prayer to the Virgin written for the "Feast of the Portiuncula" in the Franciscan calendar which falls on August 2nd, the day before our gathering. This was the chapel restored by St. Francis in which he formed his first group of Frairs Minor, where St. Clare took the habit, and where the friars gathered annually for their chapter meetings. It became the center of the Franciscan community.

O Virgin of the Angels, who has for centuries
established your throne of mercy at the
Porziuncula, hear the prayer of your children,
who trust in you. From this truly holy place and
the habitation of the Lord, so dear to the heart
of saint Francis, you have always invited all men
to love.
Your tender eyes assure us of a never failing
motherly help and a promise of divine help to
all those who humbly have recourse to your th-
rone, or who from afar, turn to you to ask for
You are, indeed, our sweet Queen and our
only hope.
O Lady of the Angels, obtain for us, through
the intercession of blessed Francis, pardon for
our sins, help us to keep away from sin and
indifference, so that we shall be worthy of cal-
ling you our Mother for evermore.
Bless our homes, our toil and our rest, by
giving us that same serenity we experience
within the walls of the Porziuncula, where hate,
guilt and tears turn into a song of joy like that
once was sung by the Angels and the seraphic
Help those who are in need and hungry,
those who are in danger of body and soul,
those who are sad and downhearted, those
who are sick and dying.
Bless us, your most beloved children, and, we
pray you, bless also with the same motherly
gesture, all those who are innocent, together
with those are guilty; those who are faithful,
together with those who have gone astray;
those who believe, together with those who are
in doubt. Bless all humanity, so that all men
acknowledging that they are God's children,
would find through love, real Peace and real

Those who are joining the Union of Charles de Foucauld in a First Friday prayer for peace may also want to make it a day of fast as a sacrificial offering in keeping with Massignon's deep belief in the efficacy of fasting and prayer as a powerful tool for change in the world.

The First Friday falls on September 5th and our Badailya will gather at 3pm on Sunday September 7th. Please join us in spirit as we pray for an end to violence in the Middle East and the Holy Land.

Peace to everyone.
Dorothy C. Buck