Filipino bishops: A rosary a day until the presidential elections
On 9 May, the Filipinos called to the polls to elect a new president. Msgr. Villegas called on the population to be guided by the power of prayer. In the history of the country, the recitation of the Rosary is very significant. In 1986 - under the leadership of the late Card. Sin - the "Rosary Crusade" led to the end of the Marcos dictatorship.
Manila (AsiaNews) - A rosary a day against political corruption and for a healthy and credible "vote". This is the proposal of Msgr. Socrates B. Villegas, Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan and president of the Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP, Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines), who has called on all Filipinos to pray the chaplet every day until next May 9, when they will go to the polls to elect a new president. On behalf of all the bishops, he recalled the power of prayer, especially the rosary, which in the past has played a decisive role in the political affairs of the country.
In the Philippines popular devotion is very strong. Card. Jaime Sin, the late archbishop of Manila, went down in history for leading the so-called "Rosary Revolution", a popular uprising in 1986 that led to the end of the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship.
In a message posted online yesterday, Msgr. Villegas said: "Pray all the mysteries of joy, light, sorrow and glory every day until May 9. Pray as a family. Pray while travelling. Pray in the offices or factories. Pray everywhere for our national elections".
The archbishop stressed the power of prayer and its ability to influence major events. "In my pastoral guidelines for the 2013 elections, I reminded you of the unique importance of prayer for national change. Our best contribution is to pray that the Lord of history guide every voter and guide every candidate”.
Then he added: "It is God who can enlighten our decisions. It is God who can thwart the plans of evil men and women to destroy social order. It is God who can give us the best leaders for the good of everyone.”According to him, it is “by the power of the rosary, we can stop the evil of election violence and cheating. By the power of the rosary, we can win the battle for peaceful and credible elections"
Msgr. Villegas has also asked Catholics to pray the rosary every day to "fight the stubbornness, cynicism and stupidity present in our choices. Let the rosary melt our hardened hearts and our sharp tongues ". Finally, the archbishop recalled the words of the Venetian senators during the battle of Lepanto in 1571 [the naval clash between the Muslim Ottoman Empire and the Christian fleet of the Holy League, ed]: "It was not our courage, or weapons, or leaders, but Our Lady of the Rosary that made us victorious. "