“We feel the emergency of the present moment and, in addition to making every humanly possible effort, we feel the need to turn to God, the giver of all good. We ask for the healing and the liberation from the coronavirus that has also affected Pakistani and afflicts all humanity. Today we pray also for the Holy See, after the news of a case in the Vatican. The Pakistani faithful are united in prayer and they have been praying the Rosary in churches and homes for a week. Today the special week of fasting and prayer, with a Rosary and a mass, outdoors, in front of the Grotto of Lourdes which is located outside the Cathedral of Lahore concludes.:
This is what Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw of Lahore told Agenzia Fides, telling how the community of Pakistani faithful is responding to the crisis of the coronavirus. The Bishop continued: “Our trust must be placed in the Virgin Mary so that she can intercede for us. In this time of Lent, fasting, prayer and penance are special weapons for every Christian. We want to use them to ask God for the healing of the sick, support for doctors and health workers engaged in the front line, liberation from this virus that is causing suffering and death worldwide.
As Fides learned, the Pakistani faithful responded with spiritual impetus to the invitation, living a week of intense prayer and seeking the intercession of the Virgin Mary and the saints. Among the prayers recited, there is also that of the Christian Asia Bibi, the woman sentenced to death for blasphemy and then acquitted in 2018, who lived moments of great suffering in her troubled experience: “Lord Jesus, how difficult it is to pray well – recites Asia’s prayer – when evil overwhelms me and I can no longer bear it. You who experienced the deepest suffering, You who were there, today you are with me. You who faced it to the end, help me to resist. You who are alive, come and pray in me through your Holy Spirit. And while I am going through Calvary, let the breath of your resurrection go through me”.
Pakistan has confirmed the top five coronavirus cases, three of which concern people who had traveled to neighboring Iran, one of the countries most affected by the epidemic. While two of the confirmed cases were in the southern port city of Karachi, others are in the capital Islamabad. Schools in the Sindh region, which borders Iran, have been closed since February 27, after confirming the first case in Karachi.