Sea Sunday, a day to remember seafarers in prayers and thanking them for their crucial services is celebrated at church on the 12 of July, every year. Sea Sunday readings take place all over the world, with some delayed this year due to the pandemic.
The Vatican Cardinal Peter Turkson, in his message, stated that the celebrations should invite everyone to exercise a “preferential option for the poor” and to “pledge to live in solidarity with them”.
Pope Francis too addressed maritime workers saying that their sacrifices had not gone unnoticed. In a tweet, he (@Pontifex) writes: On this #SeaSunday, we entrust to the Virgin Mary, Star of the Sea, all maritime personnel, fishermen, and their families. They have made many sacrifices – even during the lockdown – to continue working to provide us with food and other primary needs.
In an interview with Vatican Radio, the secretary-general of the Christian charity ‘The Mission to Seafarers’ talks about seafarers, challenges due to pandemic, and a lot more on the annual Sea Sunday that took place on the 12th of July, 2020.
Highlighting the vital work of seafarers around the world and the hardships faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he mentions how the role of seafarers has been important in terms of transporting stocks in supermarket shelves and medical equipment to countries while risking extended tenures onboard, being stranded away from home and global restrictions.
He also appreciated the recognition of their services that are slowly coming to the fore and the adequate measures to facilitate transit and crew changes.
The pandemic has been known to add a multitude of problems to the already difficult lives of seafarers. The personal fatigue, inconvenient extensions have only caused more trouble in the last few months. Added to this, seafarers also undergo discrimination and stigmatization as they are perceived to be carriers of the virus.
Stella Maris chaplains and volunteers have decided to stand alongside the seafarers and respond to material and spiritual needs in the following months.
On this #SeaSunday, we entrust to the Virgin Mary, Star of the Sea, all maritime personnel, fishermen, and their families. They have made many sacrifices – even during the lockdown – to continue working to provide us with food and other primary needs.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) July 12, 2020
Vatican Cardinal said, “We will be always at your side, raising your concerns, upholding your labor and human rights, and preventing discrimination.” This was followed by a prayer composed by the Dicastery.
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