Repenting of the Atom Bomb: Prayers, Reading, and Other Resources

On August 6th, 1945, at 8 a.m. the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima instantly killing ~75,000 men, women, and children, mostly civilians. On August 9th, 1945, another nuclear bomb was detonated on Nagasaki, Japan’s most Catholic-populated city, known as the “Rome of the East“. This second bomb landed next to the Urakami Catholic Cathedral, reducing it to rubble and vaporizing all human beings inside, along with ~50,000 others.

Despite the strict limitations of Just War, many Catholics would go on to support the use of nuclear weapons. Notable exceptions were Venerable Fulton Sheen and Servant of God Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement. The Americanist Catholics sided with President Truman, a 33rd Degree Freemason, when he stated, in the manner of an antichrist: “We thank God that it [the Bomb] has come to us, instead of to our enemies; and we pray that He may guide us to use it in His ways and for His purposes.” 

The saintly Pope John XXIII spoke out fiercely against the arms race and condemned nuclear weapons in an Encyclical (quotation below). This teaching has been repeated by Pope Francis with even greater force. The following resources—prayers, videos, protests, papal messages, and readings—have been compiled for use in Christian homes, parishes, and other communities. Please join us in making reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, begging God’s mercy on the United States of America, and repenting of the culture of death which has manufactured eternal and barbarous warfare.

Hence justice, right reason, and the recognition of man’s dignity cry out insistently for a cessation to the arms race. The stock-piles of armaments which have been built up in various countries must be reduced all round and simultaneously by the parties concerned. Nuclear weapons must be banned. A general agreement must be reached on a suitable disarmament program, with an effective system of mutual control. In the words of Pope Pius XII: “The calamity of a world war, with the economic and social ruin and the moral excesses and dissolution that accompany it, must not on any account be permitted to engulf the human race for a third time.” 

—Saint Pope John XXIII, Pacem in Terris § 112 (1963)




  • “Vigil of Repentance at the Pentagon, the Center of Warmaking on the Planet”
    Beginning at Army Navy Blvd and Eads St. on Thursday, 6 August 2020, at 6:45 AM.
    Hosted by the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker in Washington, D.C. 
  • “A 24/7 Three and a Half Day Vigil of Repentance for United States War Crimes on the 75th Anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the United States Killer Drones from Des Moines Drone Command Center.”
    The vigil will be held at the Iowa Air National Guard Drone Command Center, 3100 McKinley Ave. Des Moines, Iowa. It will begin on Thursday, 6 August 2020, at 8 a.m. (the time the United States dropped the A-bomb on Hiroshima) until Sunday, 9 August, at 11 a.m. (the time the United States dropped the A-bomb on Nagasaki). Report from 2019.
    You can support the Des Moines Catholic Worker, who host the vigil, here. Please consider joining them in prayer.

Papal Messages

Other Reading

Episode #14 of the Tradistae Podcast (link above) contains audio recordings of the following readings from Day and Merton. 



COVID-19 Pandemic: Catholic Resources

The following resources have been compiled to help Catholics and all people of goodwill to endure in prayer, repentance, and the works of mercy throughout the coronavirus pandemic. This page will be updated with other resources and links. If you would like to submit an idea, please contact us on Twitter, Facebook, or our contact page.

Mutual Aid Door Drop

During the coronavirus pandemic, it is necessary to practice social distancing. However, this will only increase the intense isolation and loneliness of modern life. Many social and religious gatherings have already been canceled indefinitely. In the spirit of mutual aid and the works of mercy, this survey is created to connect those who can help and those who need help in your communities: Mutual Aid Door Drop Survey

We encourage friends of Tradistae to:

  1. Make a copy of the digital survey linked above.
  2. Edit the form to fit your community.
  3. Wash your hands thoroughly.
  4. Print or write a shortlink or QR code on small pieces of paper.
  5. Slip these notes under your neighbors’ doors or into their mail slots.
  6. Coordinate mutual aid between your neighbors using email, texting, or other digital communication.

Catholic Streaming Resources

The following Google Sheet contains a collection of links and scheduled times for the Holy Mass (in both forms), Liturgy of the Hours, Stations of the Cross, and the Rosary: Catholic Streaming Spreadsheet.

We encourage friends of Tradistae to:

  • Create a holy space in your dwelling to reverently stream the Mass using cloth, candles, statues, holy cards, and/or a crucifix.
  • Watch and pray the Holy Mass daily for the duration of the plague.
  • Pray and receive spiritual communion for healthcare workers, the elderly, and the poor.

Blessings and Prayers in Times of Plague

The Pope’s Prayer to Mary during the Coronavirus Pandemic
Prayers in Time of Epidemic (Latin/English PDF) (extract from the Roman Ritual, Titulus IX, Caput X)
Reflection and Prayer of ++José H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles (USCCB President)
“A Word of Hope”: Message from the CELAM Bishops in face of the spread of COVID-19

The Protective Cross of St. Zacharias

The Cross of Saint Zacharias of Jerusalem, approved by the Council of Trent, can be worn, affixed to your door, or drawn with blessed chalk for protection. The letters of the cross are an acrostic for a prayer against the plague, which is translated here and provided in several printer-friendly PDFs formats.


Prayers Against the Plague: for Victims of the Coronavirus

Friends of Tradistae are asked to pray for all those afflicted by the coronavirus, especially all healthcare workers, the elderly, and the poor. The Cross of Saint Zacharias of Jerusalem, approved by the Council of Trent, can be worn, affixed to your door, or drawn with blessed chalk for protection. The letters of the cross are an acrostic for a prayer against the plague, which is translated below. A printable version of this page can be found here. Sharon Kabel has also created an excellent printable PDF with the Latin-English text.

Cross of Zechariah (2)

O Cross of Christ, save me.

Z. May zeal for your house free me.

 The Cross conquers; the Cross reigns; the Cross rules; by the sign of the Cross free me, O Lord, from this plague.

D. God, my God, drive this plague away from me, and from this place, and free me.

I. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit, my heart, and my body.

A. Before heaven and earth, God was; and God is able to liberate me from this plague.

The Cross of Christ is able to expel the plague from this place and from my body.

B. It is good to wait for the help of God in silence, that he may drive away this plague from me.

I. I will incline my heart to performing your just deeds, and I will not be confounded, for I have called upon you.

Z. I had zeal on occasion of the wicked; seeing the peace of sinners, I have hoped in you.

The Cross of Christ puts demons and corrupt air to flight and drives away the plague.

S. I am your salvation, says the Lord; cry out to me, and I will hear you, and I will liberate you from this plague.

A. Abyss calls to abyss, and you have expelled demons by your voice; liberate me from this plague.

B. Blessed the man who hopes in the Lord, and does not look upon vanities, and false extravagances.

May the Cross of Christ, which was once the cause of scandal and indignity, and is now in glory and nobility, be for my salvation, and expel from this place the demon, and corrupt air, and plague from my body.

Z. May zeal for the honor of God convert me before I die, and in your name, save me from this plague.

May the sign of the Cross free the people of God, and those who trust in him, from the plague.

H. Will this foolish people return to the Lord? Make good on your vows, offering a sacrifice of praise and faith to him, because he is able to liberate this place and me, from this plague; for whoever trusts in him will not be confounded.

G. If I will not praise you, let my tongue stick to my throat and to my jaws; free those who hope in you; in you I trust; liberate me and this place, O God, from this plague, for your name has been invoked in prayer.

F. At your death, O Lord, darkness fell over the whole earth; my God, render the power of the devil tenuous and dim, for it is for this that you have come, O Son of the living God: so that you might destroy the works of the devil. With your power, drive out from this place and from me, your servant, this plague; and may the corrupt air depart from me into the outer darkness.

Defend us, O Cross of Christ, and expel from this place the plague, and free your servant from this plague, you who are kind, and merciful, and of many mercies, and true.

B. Blessed is he who does not look upon vanities, and false extravagances; on the day of evil the Lord will free him; Lord, I have trusted in you; free me from this plague.

F. God has become my refuge; because I have trusted in you, free me from this plague.

R. Look upon me, O Lord my God, Adonai, from the holy seat of your Majesty, and have mercy on me, and because of your mercy, free me from this plague.

S. You are my Salvation: heal me, and I will be healed; save me, and I will be saved.


† The phrase “corrupt air” corresponds to the miasmic theory of disease, widely held in the 16th century. Given the advent of germ theory, and in the spirit of Gaudium et Spes § 36, an alternative PDF of this page which translates “aerem corruptum” as “corrupt germs” is made available here.

Spring Embertide

Spring Embertide


The Book of Genesis, Chapter 1: The first account of creation. The seven days.
The Book of Genesis, Chapter 2: The second account of creation. The Garden of Eden. 
Sirach 42:15 – 43:35: A contemplation concerning the works of God in nature. 
The Catechism on Creation: Excerpts on the visible world and on respect for the integrity of creation.


Psalm 148
The Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary
Prayer in Union with Creation 
(from Laudato Si’)

Winter Embertide

Winter Embertide

Spiritual Readings:

Gaudium et Spes § 33-35: Human progress must honor and glorify God.
Gaudium et Spes § 36-37: Science must be purified by faith.
Gaudium et Spes § 38-39: By the grace of God, we can build a better world.


Laudes Creaturarum (“Canticle of the Sun”)
The Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary
Prayer for the Earth
(from Laudato Si’)