Bishop prays for release of 18 Pinoy seafarers held in Oman

January 19, 2024 - 11:18 AM
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Bishop Ruperto Santos of Antipolo. (Diocese of Antipolo/Facebook)

A Catholic bishop has asked for prayers for the safe release of the 18 Filipino seafarers on board the seized oil tanker, ST Nikolas, in the Gulf of Oman last week.

Bishop Ruperto Santos of Antipolo said they are praying for a peaceful resolution to the disagreement between Iran and the United States that would lead to the release of the seized tanker and its crew members.

“We place our trust in God’s miraculous love for peace, diplomatic settlements, and to soften the hearts of those who hold the oil tanker,” said Santos, who is also the CBCP Bishop Promoter of the Stella Maris Philippines.

“May each one respect life, promote common good, and protect individual rights and welfare,” he said.

The bishop said that they are also one with the families of the 18 seafarers in facing the challenge of their loved ones being held captive.

He also said that they have already called for Masses to be offered for the safety of the seafarers.

“We are one and united with those families. We urge them to be strong and lift up everyone and everything to God. Be strong. Hold on to God. Pray with us,” said the prelate.

“We offer our Holy Masses for you and your loved ones,” he added.

Earlier, Iran seized the Marshall Islands-flagged vessel while it was in transit between the Iraqi port of Basra and Turkey. At the time of the seizure, 18 Filipino seafarers were on board the oil tanker.