Pray the ‘Oratio Imperata,’ Legazpi Diocese asks Catholics in Albay
The Diocese of Legazpi appealed to the Catholic faithful in Albay to join in praying the “Oratio Imperata for Calamity” amid the threat of eruption from the famed Mayon Volcano.
Fr. Rex Paul Arjona, social action director of the diocese, said they have requested the airing of the said prayer in several radio stations in the province.
In an interview over the Church-run Radio Veritas, the priest pointed out that praying the Oratio Imperata plays a huge role in the spiritual preparation of the faithful.
“The spiritual intervention really forms part of our preparation. This is why the Oratio Imperata for Calamity is being played almost every 30 minutes in different radio stations here,” he said.
The Oratio Imperata is an obligatory prayer issued by a diocese during situations of grave need, or when a calamity occurs.
Earlier, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) warned of a possible hazardous eruption of the volcano within days or weeks.
A hazardous or explosive eruption is defined as a lava fountain or a spray of hot rocks and gases that could move as fast as 60 kilometers per hour.
The volcano first spewed ash and rocks over the weekend, followed by lava and ash on Monday night, prompting more than 12,000 residents to flee their homes.
Arjona explained that aside from seeking God’s help, the regular airing of the Oratio Imperata aims to help uplift the spirits of the residents.
“The Oratio Imperata becomes a source of inspiration for the people,” he said.
Meanwhile, Legazpi bishop Joel Baylon called on the faithful not to panic amid the threat of an eruption from the picturesque Mayon Volcano.
“Keep calm and listen to updates. Let us pray that this will not get any worse,” he said in a post on the news website of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.
Residents were also urged to follow the advisories from the government, particularly orders to evacuate their homes and lend their support to evacuation centers, if possible.
Meanwhile, Arjona said all parishes in the dioceses are already preparing for a possible eruption as each parish has its own funds for short-term relief operations.
He admitted that the funds may not be enough to sustain relief operations in case of a prolonged disaster.
“Our parishes have funds for short-term emergencies, but if this drags on, the costs will go up. We will just have to see what happens,” he said.
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