Church orders saying of special prayer to protect against natural calamities

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Friday, May 16, 2014


AN “ORATIO Imperata,” or a prayer for deliverance from calamities, will be said at the end of every of mass nationwide until September.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) came up with the special prayer to protect against natural catastrophes that might strike the country in the coming months.

“We have been forewarned by experts and scientists that the rest of the year 2014 may be challenging months for the country bringing exceptionally strong typhoons, rains and winds. Let us turn to prayer and beg the Lord for deliverance and protection,” said CBCP president and Lingayen, Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas.

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The special prayer was first said last May 15, or the Feast of St. Isidore the Laborer, and will be said until Sept. 29, which is the Feast of the Archangels.

All catholic schools are also required to say the special prayer before the first class period.

Invocation

“We cannot control the wrath of nature but we believe that God has power over all creation,” Villegas said.

The special prayer is, “Almighty God, Lord of the universe, Creator of everything, we come to you seeking your divine protection as we face our fears and confront the threats that cause us anxiety.”

It includes an invocation against disasters, drought and pests; violence and wars; and even corruption and crime.

An “Oratio Imperata” is a mandatory prayer intended for special occasions and is separate from the usual prayers existing in the church.

Last year, the Visayas Region was struck by two major calamities that not only destroyed infrastructure, but also claimed thousands of lives.

On Oct. 15, Bohol and Cebu were struck by a 7.3 magnitude earthquake.

On Nov. 8, super typhoon Yolanda left a swath of destruction in Eastern Visayas and Northern Cebu.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 17, 2014.

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