MANILA, April 24, 2016 – As the country counts the days before Filipinos head for the polls, the faithful commit to pray the rosary daily for the special intention of the elections, as encouraged by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
“I pray the rosary but only the mystery of today. However given the current situation of the country, we could try following the exhortation of the [archbishop]. After all, it was our Mother Mary who always gave historical breakthroughs for us like in EDSA I,” said youth motivational speaker John Bernard Caasi.
Attesting to the effectiveness of the rosary, youth leader Edwin Valles considers it a “singular grace and privilege” to pray the rosary daily for the intention of the May elections.
Before anything else
He said: “By God’s grace, I am able to be faithful to this request praying all four mysteries daily for some time now … I’d be honored to do this for our country, consecrated to the Immaculate Conception, so that we may elect leaders after the Good Shepherd’s heart, her Son’s heart.”
For Filipino – Chinese youth Jan Richmond Tieng, the importance of prayer in the electoral process cannot be stressed enough.
“We ought to pray. We ought to pray first. We ought to pray more,” said the 29-year old Parish Pastoral Council assistant secretary of the National Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus in Manila.
“Before anything and everything, we ought to pray first, and to continually pray. Prayer is about seeking God’s grace to strengthen our conscience, to grant us the means to discern well our choice of candidates, to exercise utmost prudence in our dealings with other people, online or face to face,” stressed Tieng.
The call by the head of the bishops’ conference seems to be a mere echo of already existing sentiments among the faithful as seen through a 3rd year Ateneo de Manila law student ‘s own rosary campaign for the May 2016 polls, organized two days earlier than CBCP president Archbishop Socrates Villegas’ message.
Leia Go admitted it was the possibility of a Duterte – Marcos administration that pushed her to organize the Rosary Crusade for 2016 Elections over the popular social networking site Facebook.
Duterte – Marcos tandem
“… I am concerned about the possible return to the brutality of Martial law. We have had talks in school about the tortures suffered by activists and many innocent people. We cannot let that happen again. Campaigning isn’t enough. Without God, we are powerless to do anything good,” said the 27-year old, who is studying to be a lawyer, specializing in a human rights.
She also drew the connection between the role of the rosary in saving the country from the Marcos dictatorship.
Go explained: “People have been dismissing the human right abuses of Martial Law. Mama Mary even intervened 30 years ago. The EDSA revolution inspired somewhat peaceful revolutions around the world. Aren’t these enough proof that the suffering of the country under Martial Law was real? That a return to democracy was God’s will?”
“Mama Mary saved us before she can do it again … I hope that praying the rosary and relying on God and Mama Mary, our country will spared from further human rights abuses,” she said.
In a message issued earlier this month, Villegas asked the faithful to “…pray all the mysteries of joy, light, sorrow and glory every day until May 9.”
He said: “Pray as a family. Pray while travelling. Pray in the offices or factories. Pray everywhere for our national elections.”
The prelate also quoted the Venetian senators saying after what is said to be the most crucial naval clash in history, the Battle of Lepanto of 1571: “It was not courage, not arms, not leaders but Mary of the Rosary that made us victorious.” (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz / CBCPNews)