By Leslie Ann Aquino
Filipino Catholics on Thursday joined Pope Francis in praying the Holy Rosary for healing and protection for the world amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.
Father Reginald Malicdem, rector of the Manila Cathedral, led the faithful in the recitation of the rosary in response to the call of the pontiff for prayers.
“This is in response to the invitation of Pope Francis to everyone to pray the Rosary wherever you are,” the Manila Cathedral said in a Facebook post.
“The initiative is to create a continuous chain of praying the rosary,” it further read.
To note, public masses in Metro Manila are currently suspended to help stop the spread of the COVID-19.
Priests continue to celebrate mass privately and parishes make this available via social media.
Manila Cathedral is among those making use of Facebook to reach out to the faithful at this time.
Aside from the Manila Cathedral, the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral also joined the worldwide praying of the rosary.
The Diocese of Imus asked the faithful to continue praying the rosary.
“Starting March 20 until March 21, the Holy Father Pope Francis enjoins the whole world for a 24 Hour of Prayer as a Lenten Season observance,” read an advisory from their chancery.
“In our diocese, let us begin simultaneously at 7 AM (March 20) until 7 AM (March 21),” it further read.
Earlier this week, Councils of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic brotherhood, have initiated the Rosaryo Alas-8, calling for Rosary prayers of all Filipino families at exactly 8 pm daily. The litany of prayers were to be followed by the Oratio Imperata against Covid 19.
Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano also urged President Duterte to declare Sunday, March 22 a National Day of Prayer to unite Filipinos in praying for an end to the 2019 novel coronavirus scourge.