By Fr. Benedict Mayaki, SJ
Thousands of Vietnamese Catholics on Sunday took part in an online broadcast Mass. They prayed to Our Lady for an end to the Covid-19 pandemic in the country and the world.
The Archbishop of Hue, Joseph Nguyen Chi Linh presided at the Mass alongside 10 concelebrants at the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Vang, the patron saint of Vietnam, in the Quang Tri province.
“For our inability to deal with the crisis, today we come here to deeply appeal to Our Lady of La Vang to save us from the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Archbishop Linh.
Due to the Covid-19 virus, many churches in Vietnam remain locked down. The faithful assisted at the Mass via YouTube and the Archdiocese of Hue’s website.
During the Mass, the prelate noted that the coronavirus pandemic has put the world in a situation where thousands die daily, health workers are wearing themselves out to be able to cater for the sick, and governments are frantically trying to stem the spread of the virus.
“People are blaming one another for causing the crisis, with some even abusing it for purely mercenary and exploitative reasons,” he said.
Prayers to Our Lady
Archbishop Linh offered a bouquet of flowers and incense to a statue of Our Lady of La Vang. He then and invited the faithful to join him in prayer to the Madonna.
“We are here like our ancestors in the past to commend our life and all things to Mother, Queen of Peace. Please keep our nation, the Church and the world in peace,” prayed the Archbishop.
He then prayed for families having marriage and economic problems, for young people to work for the common good, and for Catholics to serve people in need.
Although Vietnam has not been affected as badly as many other countries, there is the risk of an outbreak. The Vietnamese government has nevertheless adopted precautionary measures against the spread of Covid-19. Currently, the country has recorded 270 confirmed cases of coronavirus infections, no deaths and 225 recovered patients.