03/19/2020, 17.12
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Odisha Sisters: With Saint Joseph’s help, the coronavirus can be stopped

by Purushottam Nayak

A Mass was held with the necessary precautions to ask the patron saint of the Church to end the epidemic. Sister prays “every day for the health and strength of my fellow Christians and people of other faiths, who have fallen victim to the coronavirus.” For another, “we must not let God out of this tragedy.” Tonight at 9 pm, Pope Francis will join a rosary by Italian Bishops.

Raikia (AsiaNews) – The Daughters of Charity at St Catherine's Convent in Odisha (Orissa) held a special moment of prayer today dedicated to Saint Joseph, the universal patron of the Church.

Sister Geeta Sabara is one of the members. “I firmly believe that with Saint Joseph’s intercession, the coronavirus can be stopped,” she told AsiaNews.

Tonight at 9 pm, Pope Francis will participate in a rosary recitation organised by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Italy, to call on Saint Joseph to help Italy and the world.

“I remember the anti-Christian pogrom in Kandhamal (2007-2008), when religious extremists killed many faithful, burning and destroying churches and houses,” said Sister Geeta.

“At least 56,000 people fled into the forest to save themselves, becoming homeless. But we never lost our faith in Jesus Christ. Even the coronavirus does not shake my faith and I continue to do God’s will, just like Saint Joseph.”

For one of her fellow Sisters, Sister Helen Mate, “despite limitations on celebrations, due to the virus, I haven’t stopped praying every day for the health and strength of my fellow Christians and people of other faiths, who have fallen victim to the coronavirus.”

This morning, taking all the necessary precautions, a very simple Mass was celebrated at St Catherine's Convent, led by the vicar general of the Archdiocese of Cuttak-Bhubaneswar, Mgr Pradosh Chandra Nayak. Three other priests and 14 nuns took part in the service.

“Joseph was a simple person,” said the Vicar in introducing the liturgy; however, “he never sought the limelight or attention. He worked for the Lord without making a fuss. In his life, guided by the Almighty God, he did not fear disease, calamity, or uncertainty.”

To seek divine intercession, the prelate quoted from St. Paul's Letter to the Philippians (4: 6-7): “Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

Sister Goretti Senapoti, superior of the convent, notes that "the fear of the coronavirus is spreading all over the world. But we must not let God out of this tragic story. God is all-powerful and full of strength; nothing can resist him.”

The government, she explains, has cancelled Sunday and weekday Masses. “Our daily rosary and the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament are our main weapons against disease. Today, we prayed especially for those who have died from the coronavirus around the world.”

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