The country’s Catholic bishops on Friday have called for three days of “intense prayer” for the local and national elections.
Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, president of the bishops’ conference, expressed hope that the elections will be “a concrete experience of synodality for our people”.
“We can only fight this battle in the best way we can—through prayer and well-discerned action,” David said.
In a circular, he suggested to dioceses that they keep their parish churches open during the whole days of May 8 to 10, and the Blessed Sacrament exposed for adoration.
He said the faithful may also be encouraged to take turns in keeping vigil before the Blessed Sacrament, and pray the rosary, along with the Litany of Our Lady of Loreto, the Divine Mercy Chaplet and the Oratio Imperata for the Elections.
The communities of consecrated persons, especially the contemplatives, are also asked to do the same in their convent chapels.
The CBCP also called for the ringing of church bells upon the opening of voting precincts at 6:00 a.m. for ten minutes on May 9, Election Day.
“This is to remind our faithful to exercise their civic duty as citizens to vote, and to do so in the spirit of prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to enlighten their consciences in their choice of new national and local leaders for our country,” David said.
“In our solidarity in prayer, we beg the Holy Spirit to drive away the evil spirits that influence desperate candidates and their supporters to engage in vote buying, fraudulent practices, threats, intimidations and acts of violence,” he added.
The CBCP also asked for prayers for the Commission on Elections and its partner agencies and organizations that they will “efficiently carry out their duties” for a clean, honest, accurate, meaningful and peaceful election.