Local faith leaders lead the ceremony in prayer outside City Hall during the National Day of Prayer.

Reminder Publishing photo by Trent Levakis

HOLYOKE — A sunny and beautiful spring day was the backdrop for Holyoke’s National Day of Prayer ceremony outside City Hall on May 2, where the public gathered for a celebration of prayer.

Holyoke Mayor Joshua Garcia spoke about the importance of prayer and faith in everyday life and how it brings together a community like Holyoke.

“For those of you that know this city, know that we’re a community of migrants and immigrants. People from all over the world throughout this city’s history, our country’s history, have found their way through this city looking for hope and opportunity, and certainly a community of compassion,” Garcia said.

Garcia was joined by faith leaders and congregations, as well as city officials.

“In this community we do what we can to help those that are most in need,” Garcia said. “The challenges are strong, and the only way we can overcome those challenges is if we never forget who we are as neighbors, we do what we can to take care of each other, and we try to help those that are most in need. Nothing’s never impossible when you put just a little bit of faith in the work that we all do.”

The National Day of Prayer began in 1775 when the Continental Congress designed a time for prayer in forming a new nation. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln called for such a day. In 1952, Congress established the National Day of Prayer as an annual event.

The initiative was then signed into law by President Harry Truman. The National Day of Prayer was established as the first Thursday of May each year.

The ceremony was led by songs and prayer.

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