MEMBERS of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) based in Mindanao have set October 1, Tuesday, as a Day of Prayer for Peace now that the Zamboanga crisis has ended.

According to Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo, they decided to call for a day of prayer and combine it with fasting and candle lighting so that peace will stay in the strife-torn region.

“We are calling for whole day of prayers, fasting and candle lighting for peace on October 1,” said Quevedo.

The day-long activity shall culminate with candle-lighting activities held “in silence” simultaneously at 6 p.m., according to Quevedo.

On Saturday, the government announced that the crisis in Zamboanga City was over after the last remaining hostages were rescued from their Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) captors.

The crisis, which began on September 9 when MNLF forces occupied several barangays in the city, resulted to over 200 deaths and affected over 100,000 residents.

In a related development, the CBCP urged all archdioceses and dioceses in the country to pray the old St. Michael the Archangel Prayer in a bid to counter all the negative news that have surfaced in the past few weeks.

In a circular, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, who is also the CBCP president, asked all churches nationwide to recite the prayer amid the recent problems of the country ranging from the Zamboanga crisis, to the pork barrel scandal, as well as natural calamities such as typhoon and flooding.

“Through this prayer, we invoke St. Michael to defend us and our country against the wickedness and snares of the evil one,” Palma said.

“Michael – which means, ‘Who is like God’ – will win over all the evil attempts to disfigure the face of mankind because God, Who is stronger, acts in him,” he added.

The Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, which was composed by Leo XIII in 1896 but was stopped in 1964, read as follows:

“St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil; may God rebuke him we humbly pray. And do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly hosts, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the other evil spirits who prowl upon the earth for the ruin of souls. Amen.” (HDT/Sunnex)