Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo called on Catholics in Sri Lanka to pray for divine intervention as the new coronavirus continues to spread fast in the country.
“I appeal to all Catholics to turn to the Most Holy Mother, asking her to intercede for us before God,” said the prelate, adding that “it has been proven over time how she intervened for us and helped us.”
Sri Lanka had its COVID-19 death; a 68-year-old woman who passed away on Nov. 1 in Colombo.
It was the ninth COVID-19 death within the last three weeks in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lankan health officials identified 275 new COVID-19 patients over a 24-hour period on Nov. 3, increasing the total patient count to 11,335 with 6,065 active cases and 389 under investigation.
“Let us turn to Our Lady in prayer, seeking her blessings to protect the country and its people from this pandemic,” said Cardinal Ranjith, reported Asia News.
The archbishop of Colombo urged the people, especially Catholics, to return to prayer, asking them to join daily spiritual programs for divine intervention and to recite the Blessed Mother’s special prayer.
“I ask all our Catholic brothers and sisters to pray to [Our Lady] and join us in our effort to raise our voices to plead with God,” said the cardinal.
Cardinal Ranjith’s appeal was made after Sri Lanka’s National Operations Centre for the Prevention of COVID-19 implemented a 10-day lockdown on Oct. 30.
The archbishop also called on the people to follow health guidelines in curtailing the rapid spread of the virus.
“We have already lost many lives and many people have been affected. Their lives have been shattered,” he said.
“There is an economic crisis all over the world, and many people have lost their jobs causing a lot of suffering,” he said in a separate video message addressed to Sri Lankan Catholics.
“It is our responsibility to cooperate as much as possible with the authorities to curtail the spread of this disaster. We cannot afford to let this situation drag on or deteriorate,” he said.
In his Homily on Nov. 2, the cardinal slammed people for not cooperating despite the efforts done by the health sector, security forces, and the government.
Cardinal Ranjith said because people did not heed early warnings from the authorities, “we are facing so much destruction today.”
“In this situation, the whole of Sri Lanka can be destroyed,” he warned.
He reminded everyone that “we belong to our society and we have responsibilities to fulfill, those that God has given us. Therefore, we should lead our lives in the proper way as law-abiding citizens.”
As of Nov. 4, there are more than 47 million new coronavirus cases and more than 1.2 million deaths recorded all over the world.