MANILA -- As Filipino Catholics observe the Feast of the Black Nazarene, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has asked them to demonstrate faith by praying for the country’s recovery and for humanity’s healing, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This venerated religious tradition, which commemorates the transfer of the image of Jesus Christ from its original place in Intramuros to its current shrine in Quiapo, is also a precious time for every devotee to understand the value of suffering and its grace,” President Duterte said in a message Sunday.
“Faith is the conviction of things that we hope for, even if unseen. Although we may not be able to take in the usual Traslacion activities that have marked the celebration for centuries, let us keep on demonstrating out faith by praying for out country’s recovery and for humanity’s complete healing, especially from the ill effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
At the same time, the President hoped for unity in spirit and in truth saying, “As a predominantly Catholic nation, may we remain united in spirit and in truth as we continue to build a future that is truly blessed with peace, prosperity, love and goodwill for all.”
The President asked the Roman Catholic Church this week to forego mass gatherings during the observance of the Feast of the Black Nazarene fearing such events may become superspreaders particularly as the nation grapples with the rising number of COVID-19 infections.
Health experts advising the government on the pandemic say other mass gatherings such as the Sto. Niño celebration and the Chinese New Year must also be suspended due to threat posed by the coronavirus. (PND)