Manila (Agenzia Fides) - Praying incessantly for doctors who are "on the front line" to fight against coronavirus: this is the invitation issued by the Filipino bishops and civil authorities to support health workers who are fighting the coronavirus disease. President Rodrigo Duterte declared the fourth week of March as "National Prayer Week" to spiritually unite Filipinos of all faiths and religions amid the threat of the coronavirus disease.
"Let us pray for the strength and endurance of our outstanding frontline medical professionals and health professionals, for military and law enforcement officers, government officials and staff dealing with the current threat of the virus, and for all Filipinos who work tirelessly to protect our communities by sacrificing their lives at the service of the country", he added.
The Philippine Church believes deeply in the power of prayer: Bishop Ruperto Santos, at the head of the diocese of Balanga, urged all priests and religious to celebrate masses for doctors, health workers and all those who are "in the front line" in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. "We implore our Lord through the intercession of Saint Joseph, patron saint of workers, to protect them and keep them away from any harm", said Santos. "May they remain strong, healthy and safe. May the Lord reward their services and sacrifices", he said.
The Bishop of Caloocan, Mgr. Pablo Virgilio David and vice president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) called for prayers after the death of another Filipino doctor due to the disease, inviting the faithful to become "warriors of prayer", that is, people constantly committed to pray for the "frontliner". "Would you like to join our invisible network of prayer warriors for those who are at the forefront of another aspect of this fight against COVID-19: the spiritual battle? It does not matter whether you are a Muslim, Buddhist, Catholic or Protestant, you can join in praying fervently that God will protect those who put their lives in danger to protect us from this devastating plague", said the Bishop.
The Country's Bishops also urged all citizens to express "social solidarity" to care for each other, paying attention especially to the poorest, who are severely affected. The government has in fact imposed a total blockade of the community on the island of Luzon, the most densely populated of the Philippines, where there is the capital Metro Manila, until April 14. (SD-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 24/3/2020)