Berhampur (Agenzia Fides) - "We are specially praying for the victims of coronavirus of China in this season of Lent": says Fr. Sanjeev Nayak, parish priest of the Queen of the Mission Parish and vicar general of the Berhampur Catholic diocese, in the Indian state of Orissa. "We express our condolences and solidarity to the victims of coronavirus, the dreaded decease that has spread global panic. The Lenten season focuses three pillars in the Catholic Church. Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving. We have begun praying for the victims from the first day of Lenten season", adds Fr. Nayak to Fides.
Around 3,000 gathered yesterday for Ash Wednesday services.
"Lent is a liturgical time deeply felt by our faithful, who commemorate Jesus and focus on his Passion through the stations of the Via Crucis", explains parish priest Sapna Sahu. Catholic woman and mother of Berhampur says to Fides: "I pray for the victims of the virus. We are in solidarity because because we are all members of the human family and all children of God the Father". "Through prayer we receive grace, strength, peace and healing: in this way the eyes of the heart remain in the light, so that we know what is the hope to which we have been called", says the woman, recalling a passage from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Ephisians.
Berhampur is a city located on the east coast of India in the state of Orissa. It is one of the largest cities in Orissa and is famous for the production and trade of intricate, handmade silk "saris". This is why it is known as the "City of silk".
The diocese of Berhampur was established in 1974, today it has 71mil Catholics, 25 parishes, 2 missions, 89 priests, 183 nuns. The faithful are very devoted to the Virgin Mary and the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes on 11 February attracts about 200 thousand pilgrims from neighboring regions. (PN) (Agenzia Fides, 27/272020)