Circular No. 22-16
Dear Brother Archbishops and Bishops of the Philippines,
Greetings of Peace and Joy in the Risen Lord!
Elections are coming in just a few more days, and I have been receiving messages from our faithful, asking that we call for three days of INTENSE PRAYER on May 8, 9, and 10. I know that you may already have issued your own calls to prayer. Nevertheless, allow me to submit this request to your own personal consideration for your respective ecclesiastical jurisdictions.
In the context of our present circumstances, it is important to remind ourselves of the words of St. Paul, in Ephesians 6:12 , “For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.” On account of this, he admonishes the Christian community in v. 18, “With all prayer and supplication, pray at every opportunity in the Spirit.”
We can only fight this battle in the best way we can—through prayer and well-discerned action. May I therefore recommend the following suggestions:
1. That during the whole days of May 8, 9, and 10, we keep our Parish Churches open and the Blessed Sacrament exposed for adoration, encourage our lay faithful— especially our Eucharistic Adorers and members of the Apostleship of Prayer—to take turns in keeping vigil before the Blessed Sacrament, and repeatedly praying the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary, along with the Litany of Our Lady of Loreto, the Divine Mercy Chaplet and the Oratio Imperata for the Elections.
2. That we request the communities of consecrated persons in our respective ecclesiastical jurisdictions, especially the Contemplatives among them, to do the same in their Convent chapels.
3. That on Monday, May 9, upon the opening of the polling precincts, we have our Church bells rung at 6am for ten minutes, 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.
4. That 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.
5. That we consciously pray that all national and local COMELEC officials faithfully and efficiently carry out their duties as mandated by law, and, with the assistance of PPCRV, NAMFREL, the mass media, the PNP and all other organizations accredited to monitor the conduct of the elections, and succeed in accomplishing a clean, honest, accurate, meaningful and peaceful election.
6. That those among our faithful who have consciously and openly opted to support particular candidates may do so with no other motive than to allow the conscience-guided, genuine and sovereign will of our people to be truly reflected in the result of these elections.
7. And finally, that the meaningful participation of citizens in fighting the politics of patronage and promoting of the politics of the common good, which Pope Francis calls the “highest form of charity,” be sustained beyond this election and lead to a greater political maturity for our nation.
May this election become a concrete experience of synodality for our people. Thanking you most sincerely for your kind attention, I remain,
Very truly yours,
+MOST REV. PABLO VIRGILIO S. DAVID, D.D.
Bishop of Kalookan
06 May 2022