By Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp
As the coronavirus continues to claim lives in the Philippines, the Bishops will consecrate the country to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, 13 May.
The consecration was announced by the President of the Philippine Episcopal Conference (CBCP) in a letter sent to all the dioceses on April 27. In it, Archbishop Romulo Valles says that “this is a wonderful initiative”.
This consecration is reminiscent of previous consecrations of the Philippines to Mary. During the Year of Faith, the CBCP consecrated the Philippines to Mary’s Immaculate Heart.
Details of consecration in Manila
In the Archdiocese of Manila, the consecration will be preceded by instructions regarding the meaning of the consecration. A triduum of penance and the recitation of the Rosary will begin on 10 May. This preparation will then culminate on 13 May with the actual communal consecration.
It will be Bishop Broderick Pabillo who will lead the consecration in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, which is also a Minor Basilica. Bishop Pabillo is an Auxiliary Bishop in the Archdiocese. He currently serves as Apostolic Administrator since Cardinal Tagle’s appointment as Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples earlier this year. The mayors of five neighbouring cities will join him.
“It will be beautiful when all the people God, led by their civil and religious leaders, put themselves under the protection of the Blessed Virgin,” Pabillo said.
Asking for Mary’s help
“We do this to implore the protection of the powerful intercession of our Blessed Mother in this difficult time, especially as we move to the transition to a new way of life after the quarantine,” Pabillo added. “We need strength from above, and we have a powerful intercessor in Mama Mary to get that heavenly help,” he also said.
Coronavirus in the Philippines
As of Friday, the Philippines had registered 8,488 coronavirus cases. 568 people had died from it, and 1,043 people had recovered. The Philippines recorded its first case on 5 March. The first death outside of China, a person who had traveled to the Philippines, took place there at the beginning of February.