Prayer for Peace in the Philippines

Bishops Launch ‘Oratio Imperata’ Following Killings in Mindanao

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The Bishops of the Philippines have launched what is called an Oratio Imperata for peace in Mindanao. It follows a massacre on January 25 in Mamasapano, on the island of Mindanao.

An Oratio Imperata is normally used to pray for deliverance from natural calamities or conflicts and wars.

The prayer issued on Monday by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines will be distributed to every diocese and prayed in all the parishes during the month of March.

“The situation of the country and the world right now calls on all of us to turn to the Lord in humble supplication and gather our people to pray. As the nation continues to grieve over the tragedy in Mamasapano and the family of nations is threatened by war and terror from extremist groups, our best contribution to the nation and to the world is to encourage people to pray,” said Archbishop Socrates Villegas, President of the Bishops’ Conference.

In his message to the dioceses, posted on Facebook, he said that: “I respectfully propose that we the bishops of the Philippines encourage our people to pray the following Oratio Imperata for Peace. Hopefully this prayer can calm the anxieties of our long suffering people and touch the hearts of the enemies of peace.”

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Text of the prayer

Lord of Peace, we come to You in our need

Create in us an awareness

of the massive forces of violence and terrorism

that threaten our world today.

Grant us a sense of urgency

to activate the forces of goodness, of justice,

of love and of peace in our communities.

Where there is armed conflict,

let us stretch out our arms to our

brothers and sisters.

Where there is abundance and luxury,

let there be simple lifestyle and sharing.

Where there is poverty and misery,

let there be dignified living and constant striving for just structures.

Where there is selfish ambition, let there be humble service.

Where there is injustice, let there be humble atonement.

Where there is despair, let there be hope in the Good News.

Where there are wounds of division, let there be unity and wholeness.

Where there are lies and deceit, let your Truth set us all of us free.

Where there are thoughts of vengeance, let there be healing and forgiveness.

Help us to be committed to the Gospel of peace.

In spite of our differences in faith traditions and ethnic roots,

Teach us Your spirit of mercy and compassion.

For it is only in loving imitation of you, Lord of Peace,

that we can discover the healing springs of life

that will bring about new birth to our earth

a new era of peace

and a new harmony among all

Forever and ever. Amen.

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