MANILA, May 14, 2014— As some parts of the Philippines are still recouping from recent typhoons, a Catholic archbishop urges the faithful to offer special prayers to spare the country from another calamity.
Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan has formulated an Oratio Imperata (obligatory prayer), which the faithful would pray at holy mass, starting May 15 until Sept. 29, 2014.
The archbishop said the public has been forewarned by experts that the rest of the year 2014 may be challenging months for the country, bringing exceptionally strong typhoons and winds.
“At all times we must pray and invoke the protection of God against every evil and against all troubles,” Villegas said. “Let us turn to prayer and beg the Lord for deliverance and protection.”
“We cannot control the wrath of nature, but we believe that God has power over all creation. Even now, we claim from the hands of Our Lady of Manaoag her motherly protection for her children,” he said.
Villegas, current president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, also asked that the prayer be recited before the first class period in all Catholic schools in the archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan.
“I enjoin everyone concerned to observe this mandate to pray,” he added.
The archdiocese’s obligatory prayer reads as follows:
Almighty God, Lord of the universe, Creator of everything, we come to You, seeking Your divine protection as we face our fears and confront the threats that cause us anxiety
After every invocation let us say:
“DELIVER YOUR PEOPLE LORD”.
From strong typhoons
From relentless rains
From destructive earthquakes
From drought and pests
From deadly floods and storm surges
From red tides and fish kills
From deadly lightning
From violence and wars
From corruption and sin
From criminality and terrorism
From selfishness and indifference
Divine Jesus, You calmed the storms and walked over the waters. Give us fine weather. Shield us from distress. Drive away from our land all calamities and disasters of nature. We entrust ourselves to You now and forever.
Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag, pray for us.
The obligatory prayer is an old Catholic tradition where the bishop leads the community in prayer for a special intention. (CBCP News)