Payer to Mary for an end to the Coronavirus Pandemic BY POPE FRANCIS

O Mary, you shine continuously
on our journey as a sign of salvation
and hope. We entrust ourselves to you,
Health of the Sick.
At the foot of the Cross you participated
in Jesus’ pain, with steadfast faith.
You, Salvation of the Roman People,
know what we need.
We are certain that you will provide,
so that, as you did at Cana of Galilee,
joy and feasting might return after
this moment of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform ourselves to the
Father’s will and to do what
Jesus tells us:
He who took our sufferings upon Himself,
and bore our sorrows to bring us,
through the Cross, to the joy of the
Resurrection. Amen
We seek refuge
under your protection,
O Holy Mother of God.
Do not despise our pleas –
we who are put to the test –
and deliver us from every danger,
O glorious and blessed Virgin.

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Palm Sunday, Still One of the Most Anticipated Religious Practices in the Philippines Despite the Pandemic

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Today, the Minor Basilica of Saint Michael the Archangel in Tayabas City, Quezon Province was full (3 persons per pew) for the 8:00 am mass despite the pandemic. I arrived not so early so I had to sit outside the church with others (about 200 of us). Proper measures were observed the entire time with some police officers in uniforms visible around the church to remind the faithful of their duties towards their country while practicing their faith. I thank God for their dedication. I felt even more thankful when I spotted some of them holding both their baton and palm branches in their hands.

Lent and Easter are the most important seasons for the Church. During lent, the faithful prepare themselves spiritually for the celebration of Easter which is the day when our Lord Jesus Christ conquered death by his resurrection. The Sunday before Easter is called the Palm Sunday.

In Matthew chapter 21, the evangelist recorded Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. In verse 5, he quoted Isaiah 62:11 and Zechariah 9:9; “Say to daughter Zion, ‘Behold, your king comes to you, meek and riding on an ass, and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.” In verse 8-9, “Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowd that went before him and that followed him shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”

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Palm Sunday is the day when the Church commemorates this part of the Holy Scriptures. This popular religious practice is something that the faithful anticipates every year. The preparation starts as early as the day before Palm Sunday. In the Philippines, those in the urban areas go to the market or in sidewalks near the churches to buy ready-made palaspas or beautifully woven young coconut leaves, while those in the provinces normally make palaspas by themselves. The above photo is my daughter holding a palaspas made by my father-in-law.

After the celebration of the Holy Eucharist and the blessing of palms leaves. The faithful stick these blessed branches into the corners of their houses especially in their home altars. We believe that Satan and his subordinates fear anything that is blessed by a priest, whom Jesus himself anointed through the Sacrament of the Holy Orders.

Let us serve Christ and the Church in all circumstances!

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1M Prayed with Cardinal Tagle in Rome to Stop the Pandemic

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Today, in the feast of the Annunciation of the Lord, about a million Catholics around the globe joined the Healing Rosary for the World live on radio and in Facebook. The prayer was transmitted from the chapel of the Pontificio Collegio Filippino in Rome led by His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, the new Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. The Joyful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary were said for the intercession of the Holy Mother of God to intercede for us in these difficult times of COVID-19 or SARS-COV-2.

If you have been told by someone that the Holy Rosary is not biblical and is a prayer of vain repetition. Check out my post to defend the Holy Rosary against the claim that it is “vain repetition”.

The prayer started with a famous “Ave Maria” song, a plea to the Immaculate Mother to ask God for help in this urgent need. At the end of the rosary, the “Hail Holy Queen” or the Salve Regina was beautifully sung in Latin. It concluded with the Oratio Imperata imploring God’s intervention to stop the spread of the virus and to save us all from our fears. The prelate then thanked all who exerted efforts to pray with him. He then blessed them with the sign of of the cross.

The prayer lasted for 30 minutes with at least 700k participants excluding those who are on TV and radio at the end of the live streaming. At 10:08 pm, about 30 mins after the live broadcast, there were 903K views. You may check out the current count now at the Cardinal’s official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ArchbishopTagle/videos/1152252108302621.

Many thanks to Cubao Media and Radio Veritas for making this live rosary accessible for us who do not have TV and Radio access. Let us support them in any way we can! Doing so, we unite ourselves in the mission-to proclaim the Gospel to all corners of the world-that our Lord Jesus Christ gave to the Church.

Let us serve Christ and the Church in all circumstances!

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