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The moving priorities of Chapecoense team mates: Let us pray…


Aleteia - published on 11/29/16 - updated on 06/07/17

In a story of shattering loss, what comes alive in the details is the love.

Amid reports that Brazil’s Chapecoense soccer team made a last minute flight change before the deadly crash in which all but five team members perished, stories are emerging that give touching testament to where our hearts and minds go, when circumstances force away all peripheral concerns.

Aleteia’s Portuguese edition, details Alan Ruschel’s urgent request upon reaching the Columbian hospital in La Ceja:

Although he was in shock, Ruschel made a touching request to the hospital staff before entering the operating room: he asked that they guard and look after his wedding ring.


His sister, Amanda, shared the tale through his Instagram account, adding that the athlete’s condition is stable. “Thanks be to God, Alan is in the hospital [in] stable condition. We are praying for all those who have still not been helped, and for strength for all the families. Difficult, complicated situation. Only God can give us strength. Thank you, God.”

The team’s flight crashed as it approached the Medellin airport in the early hours of Tuesday, November 29, due to electrical problems. The Chapecoense would have participated in an an international tournament, the Copa Sudamericana against Atletico Nacional of Colombia. One team member, Marcos Danilo, was alive when pulled from the wreckage, and was able to telephone his wife from his hospital bed, before succumbing to his injuries.


Chapecoense goalkeeper Marcos Danilo [pictured in headphones, with Alan Ruschel – ed] was one of just seven people initially found alive in the mangled remains of the jet which crashed down on its way from Bolivia to the city of Medellin…Weeks earlier he had posted a picture of himself next to his wife who he described as ‘my love’.

Let us pray for the full recovery of the survivors, for the deceased, and for all of their families and friends. 

Holy Father, God Eternal and Almighty,
we pray for the dead in this tragedy,
whom you have called from this world.

Give to them your happiness, light and peace.
That they, having passed through this world,
may participate in the fellowship of your saints in your loving light,
as promised to Abraham and his descendants.

We pray you will lift them into your mercy,
forgiving their sins and leading them
into the promise of eternal life.

(Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord,
and let your perpetual light shine upon them.
May their souls, and the souls of all the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace.)

We pray for the survivors, who have suffered abundant loss
and must face healing and recovery
without partners and teammates to urge them on.
Bring your healing O Divine Physician, to their bodies,
to their minds and spirits.

We pray for the families of all,
that in this time of pain, they might seek out
your consolation, in hopes that they may know
the peace beyond all understanding
that comes whenever you are near.

We ask this through Jesus Christ, your son,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

Holy Mary, Mother of God, Comforter of the afflicted, pray for them,
St. Joseph, Pillar of families, pray for them,
St. Sebastian, Patron of Athletes, pray for them, and for us all
Infant of Prague, help of surgical patients, be with them
(Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be…)

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