05/16/2020, 08.00
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COVID-19: Bishops consecrate the Philippines to Our Lady so as to heal together and united

To counter the coronavirus outbreak, the country’s bishops have entrusted the country to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima. Archbishop Valles prayed for the healing of the sick and the strength and protection of those who are leading the fight against the disease. The ceremony was carried online and in Catholic media. So far, more than 12,000 cases have been reported in the country with 806 deaths.

Manila (AsiaNews/CBCP) – The Catholic Church in the Philippines has consecrated the country to the immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of Jesus, to protect it from the novel coronavirus pandemic, which continues to spread across the country causing infections and deaths.

Like bishops and Bishop’s Conferences around the world, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) entrusted the future of the country and the whole world into the hands of Our Lady.

CBCP president Archbishop Romulo Valles led the consecration ceremony on Wednesday, feast of Our Lady of Fatima. The prelate invoked the intercession of the Virgin Mary, that she might “heal” COVID-19 patients and give "strength and protection" to those who are on the front-line of the battle against the disease.

“We pray as one. We renew the world as one through this act of consecration,” said Archbishop Valles. “This is our country’s way to implore the grace and mercy of the Lord to end the pandemic of coronavirus.”

The ceremony was broadcast online on various platforms and by various Catholic social media. Church services have been suspended after the government imposed restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The bishops of the Philippines have consecrated the country to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in past, in 1985 for example, to "heal" the country and guarantee "true freedom and peace" when Ferdinando Marcos was in power. In 1987 the ceremony was repeated as "a joyful thanksgiving" after the difficult years of the dictatorship.

In today’s "extraordinary times" calling on the Mother of Jesus and the consecration come with an even greater “sense of urgency”. “This is an opportune time to reflect on the current situation that the world is experiencing right now,” Archbishop Valles said.

So far, the Philippines have reported more than 12,000 cases of the novel coronavirus, with 806 confirmed deaths.

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