By Christina Hermoso
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is inviting the faithful to join the prayer gathering at the EDSA Shrine this afternoon “to pray for peace and healing of the nation.”
The prayer service also kicks off activities for the 33-day period of the Church’s “Start the Healing” campaign which calls on Catholics to pray the Holy Rosary until December 8, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.
Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas, CBCP president, will lead the concelebrated mass at 3 p.m., the Hour of Divine Mercy. After the mass, the image of Our Lady of Fatima, the main icon for the event, will be brought in a candlelight procession to the People Power Monument, located about a kilometer away from the EDSA Shrine.
The image was the same one used during the peaceful People Power revolt in 1986.
Archbishop Villegas earlier assured that the Church will not encourage any attempt to destabilize the government. The prelate said the gathering will be peaceful and orderly.
Villegas said in a CBCP News post:“We ask the Lord for healing of our land, healing of our people, so we can move forward in peace, in prosperity, for all. With Our Lady of Fatima, let’s pray for the healing of our nation. Stop the killings!”
“Healing does not mean turning a blind eye but being conscious to what is happening in our societies and owning to our mistakes. We have a stack of sins to repent for. We have a lot to change in our lives,” he added.
The Church leader emphasized that the prayer service is not in support of any political group. “The color of November 5 is clarity. It is transparency of a conscience that seeks pardon from the Lord. It is the purity of clear water,” Villegas said.
The out-going CBCP head likewise called on the clergy from different parts of the country to hold similar masses in their parishes for those who cannot go to EDSA.
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