Manila (Agenzia Fides) - "God our Father we come to You in our need to ask Your protection against the N-coronavirus that has claimed lives and has affected many. We pray for Your grace for the people tasked with studying the nature and cause of this virus and its disease and of stemming the tide of its transmission. Guide the hands and minds of medical experts that they may minister to the sick with competence and compassion and of those governments and private agencies that must find cure and solution to this epidemic": these are the words of the "Oratio Imperata", the prayer to be offered in Masses during weekdays and Sundays, after the Holy Communion in all the Catholic churches in the Philippines, beginning Sunday February 2, feast of the Presentation of the Lord. The prayer was approved and issued by the Filipino Bishops who, at the conclusion of the recent assembly, wanted to ask the people of God for a special invocation to the Almighty, while fears are growing in the world for the spread of the coronovirus. There has been one confirmed case in the Philippines. "We pray for those afflicted. May they be restored to health soon. Grant us the grace to work for the good of all and to help those in need", continues the prayer.
The Philippine government has issued a series of measures and advice to be implemented in social life – to wash your hands often, wear appropriate masks - even the Catholic Church has issued some directives. In fact, the faithful are advised "to follow the health recommendations of experts in order to prevent the spread of the disease" and parishes are invited to observe specific practices during the liturgy: Holy Communion is to be received by hand; Check and change regularly the Holy Water from Holy Water Fonts; install protective cloth on the grills of confessionals; avoid holding hands during the singing/praying of the “Our Father” and from shaking of hands during the Sign of Peace.
The coronovirus, which originated in Wuhan province in China, has so far infected over 7,000 people in China and other countries, and has already killed 213 people in mainland China. (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 31/1/2020)