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Filipino faithful urged to hold ‘intense prayer’ vigils for success of national elections

“We can only fight this battle in the best way we can—through prayer and well-discerned action,” said Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, CBCP president

Catholic churches across the Philippines will be holding “intense prayer” vigils for three days starting Sunday, May 8, for the success of the national elections on Monday.

“We can only fight this battle in the best way we can—through prayer and well-discerned action,” said Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, president of the bishops’ conference, in a circular released on May 6.

The prelate said he received messages from the faithful, asking for three days of “intense prayer,” even as he noted that dioceses across the country might have already their own calls to prayer.

“In the context of our present circumstances, it is important to remind ourselves of the words of St. Paul, in Ephesians 6:12 , ‘For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens,’” read Bishop David’s letter.

The prelate suggested that on May 8, 9, and 10, parish churches be opened and the Blessed Sacrament exposed for adoration.

He encouraged the lay faithful to take turns in keeping vigil before the Blessed Sacrament, and repeatedly pray the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary, along with the Litany of Our Lady of Loreto, the Divine Mercy Chaplet and the Oratio Imperata for the Elections.

Bishop David also urged local Church leaders to request communities of consecrated persons, especially the Contemplatives among them, to hold prayer vigils in their convents.

- Newsletter -

“On Monday, May 9, upon the opening of the polling precincts, we have our Church bells rung at 6 a.m. for ten minutes, to remind our faithful to exercise their civic duty as citizens to vote, and to do so in the spirit of prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to enlighten their consciences in their choice of new national and local leaders for our country,” the prelate wrote to CBCP members.

He also called for prayer to “beg the Holy Spirit to drive away the evil spirits that influence desperate candidates and their supporters to engage in vote buying, fraudulent practices, threats, intimidations and acts of violence.”

Bishop David also requested prayers for poll officials so that they may be able to “faithfully and efficiently carry out their duties as mandated by law.”

For the faithful “who have consciously and openly opted to support particular candidates,” the bishop prayed that they may do so “with no other motive than to allow the conscience-guided, genuine and sovereign will of our people to be truly reflected in the result of these elections.”

“May this election become a concrete experience of synodality for our people,” wrote Bishop David.

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