AMERICA/HAITI - Despite the pandemic, Haitians celebrate Our Lady of Perpetual Help, invoking her to get out of the crisis

Thursday, 18 June 2020 popular worship   marian devotion   poverty   corruption   coronavirus  

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Port au Prince (Agenzia Fides) - Haiti experiences the worst historical moment of recent times, for economic and social stability, to which is added the health emergency, which affects not only the poorest country in America but a country flogged by several natural disasters that have blocked the economy and activity of a very religious population. Fides received the testimony of Father Renold Antoine, a Redemptorist missionary, who tells how, despite the economic lockdown of the quarantine, the Catholic population is preparing the national holiday for its patroness, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, on June 27th.
"Without wanting to draw too hasty conclusions about this particular year, we are all of the opinion that 2020 is an accumulation of new shocks. Some dare to call it already the year of all records. This name is due not only to the economic crisis in which our world finds itself, but also to the fear that reigns in each of being infected by Covid-19, as well as to the feeling that death comes like lightning, suddenly.
In the Haitian context - explains Father Renold - the situation is much worse, because there are other realities which are more virulent than the coronavirus: corruption, misery, insecurity, unhealthiness, to name just a few".
In this atmosphere, however, Haitian people are preparing to celebrate their Patroness, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, on June 27th. The theme chosen this year is: "O Mary, mother of the Haitian people, help us in this suffering". A series of activities are already underway to mark this important date: 30 days of prayers, that is, from 1 to 30 June at noon; 3 days of prelude to the novena, from 15 to 17 June, at 3 pm, guided by the Solèy Lafwa group. Finally, the national novena in the ten dioceses of the country, from 18 to 26 June. On the day of the solemnity, June 27, there will be three Eucharistic celebrations and a procession with the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help that will leave from the Cathedral of Port-au-Prince and head towards the chapel of Notre-Dame-du-Perpétuel-Secours in Bélair. At the end of the procession, the Archbishop of Port-au-Prince, His Exc. Mgr. Max-Leroy Mesidor, will give the solemn blessing to the Haitian people and to the city of Port-au-Prince.
Taking into account the current situation, only a small group will take part in the activities in the Shrine, which will be broadcast live on radio, television and social media. During this period of prayer, praise and thanksgiving, the Haitian people turn to Mary, Notre-Dame-du-Perpétuel-Secours, to ask her to heal us from the Coronavirus, corruption, insecurity, misery.
"May the intercession of our Heavenly Mother renew the human and intellectual energies of the Haitian people - concludes the missionary".
Today in Haiti there are about 5,000 positive Covid-19 cases and more than 80 people have died. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 18/6/2020)