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Pray '10 Hail Marys' for national healing from COVID-19 - bishops

Catholic bishops are calling on the faithful to pray '10 Hail Marys' everyday in schools, seminaries, parishes and communities for healing of the nation from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), according to a post on the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) website.

A Pastoral Message on COVID-19  was issued on Aug. 14, 2020 and addressed to Teachers, Educators, Seminary Professors and Seminarians and the Catholic faithful at the opening of the school year.

"As a people, we have all suffered a lot from almost five months of lockdowns. Fear of illness and death surround us," the bishops said.

The message is signed by Lingayen-Dagupan Bishop Socrates Villegas, who is also Episcopal Commission on Seminaries chairman, and Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education Chairman San Jose de Nueva Ecija Bishop Roberto Mallari.

The nationwide prayer campaign for the recitation of 10 Hail Marys everyday at 12 noon “wherever you may be” will start on Aug. 15, the Solemnity of the Assumption, and end on Sept. 15, the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows.

The prelates said the collective prayer action is aimed at lifting the lockdowns and national healing.

"We plead with our friends in media to balance their coverage of the COVID-19 crisis," the bishops added.

Government officials are called "to be more open to the new scientific insights and global experiences around COVID-19" and appealed to the Inter-Agency Task Force  "for a more participatory approach that is open to the wisdom and experience of various professionals, scientists and physicians as well as genuine and constructive representatives of business, civil society, and local government units."

"We plead to parents and teachers to attend to the special needs of our children under these extraordinary times. Our children will be children only for a few years. Let us insure their balanced growth and formation of the mind, body and soul," the bishops said. -- BAP, GMA News