Cebu archbishop urges prayer to end killings

Cebu archbishop urges prayer to end killings
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Archbishop Jose Palma leads thousands of devotees in welcoming the heart relic of Saint Padre Pio at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral on Thursday, October 11. SAMMY NAVAJA

By CBCP News

October 11, 2018

Cebu City, Philippines

Archbishop Jose Palma rallied the faithful to pray for peace as drug-related killings continue to rise in Cebu.

Speaking during Mass on Thursday, he urged Cebuanos to unite in prayer and not allow violence to reign in the country.

“I hope that added to our personal wishes and prayers, we pray for peace,” Palma told thousands of people who welcomed the heart relic of Saint Padre Pio at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.

In his homily, he expressed hope that the relic’s visit would bring “spiritual renewal” as he noted that killings within the province and in the country.

He encouraged the devotees to pray not just for their own personal intention but for country’s welfare as well.

“When we come and pray before the heart of Saint Padre Pio, pray for the nation, for the transformation of our society,” said Palma.

“Let’s also pray that his visit will bring grace to those in need,” the archbishop added.

The relic will be in Cebu until Sunday and is expected to draw thousands more devotees.

At the Manila Cathedral, where the relic stayed for two days, an estimated 130,000 people braved the heat and occasional rains in order to venerate the relic.

Fr. Regie Malicdem, rector of the cathedral, admitted they were caught by surprise at the number of devotees who came to the Manila Cathedral.

“We did our best to allow those who came to venerate the relic,” said Malicdem. “We apologize to those who may have experienced any inconvenience.”

“We thank all those who came, lined up for hours, and were very grateful for even just a few seconds before the relic,” he said.

Malicdem said the visit of Padre Pio’s heart relic “revealed and awakened the faith in the hearts of many Filipinos.”

“May Padre Pio help us never to lose that fire of faith in our hearts,” he added.

From Cebu, the relic will be brought to Davao City where it will stay until Oct. 16. It will be in Lipa City on Oct. 17, and be back at the National Shrine of Padre Pio in Sto. Tomas, Batangas on Oct. 18 to 26.