09/09/2021, 12.41
SRI LANKA
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As the pandemic rages, Card Ranjith urges the faithful to trust Our Lady

by Melani Manel Perera

Sri Lankan Catholics cannot yet meet for Mass due to the risk of contagion. Yesterday, Catholic associations took turns in reciting the rosary online. The vaccination campaign is proceeding but some 3,000 new cases were reported today.

Colombo (AsiaNews) – At the request of the Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcom Ranjith, Sri Lanka’s Catholics marked Mary's birthday yesterday with a day of prayer.

Writing on social media on Monday, he asked the faithful to celebrate the feast of Our Lady with a “day of prayer seeking intercession to save our country and the entire world from the COVID-19 epidemic.”

“I want all of you to say the rosary, recite the litany of Mother Mary, and fast without eating meat,” he said.

Under current restrictions, Sri Lankan Catholics are still unable to meet for Mass. Consequently, the archdiocesan faith team prepared materials in Sinhala, Tamil and English to enable families to pray at home.

From noon to midnight, Catholic associations alternated in the recitation of the rosary, repeating the invocation "Save our Motherland and the entire world from COVID-19, Amma (mother)!” Catholic school children also joined in prayer.

Sugandhi Fernando, a teacher at the Holy Family Convent in Bambalapitiya, told AsiaNews that she was “very happy [with the initiative] even though the prayers were held online.”

“The children arranged a small altar for Mother Mary and prepared birthday cards too,” she explained.

Dr Hemantha Herath, deputy director general of health services, said the current pandemic situation in the country does not allow schools to reopen.

Students who are scheduled to sit for exams will have to be vaccinated as soon as possible.

Since the start of the pandemic, 10,689 deaths have been reported in the country. Today the epidemiology unit of the Ministry of Health reported 2,917 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of active cases to 74,122.

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