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  • Writer's pictureThe Hermit of Antipolo

Oratio Imperata (A Perspetive On Covid-19 Part 39)

Updated: Apr 8, 2022



It has been over one and a half years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. And there is no end in sight, despite massive vaccination worldwide. It seems to be getting worse, with variants and the need for successive jabs and booster shots.

In the Philippines, the Church has put forth the Oratio Imperata, an obligatory prayer to be prayed by the whole Church. It had a first version in March 2020, then a revised version in January 2021.


Significantly, the second version removed the word “soon” from the phrase “May they be restored to health soon.” That was a realistic recognition that we could not look to stopping the pandemic any time soon.


So after praying the Oratio Imperata for 1-1/2 years now, what are we to make of the situation? Is God listening to the prayer of His people? Yes, of course God listens to His people. But are we praying in the right way?


This pandemic is God’s chastisement upon a sinful world. If so, then what is needed is repentance. We need to ask for God’s mercy. The two Oratio versions ask for protection, grace, guidance, restoration to health, dispelling of fear, restoration of hope, strengthening of faith, but not for God’s mercy, based on our repentance. We have missed out on the most basic.


Further, the second version says, “We thank you for the vaccines developed made possible by your guiding hands.” This is presumptuous. Do we presume to aver that the vaccines developed have indeed been guided by God? Even as they are just experimental drugs? Even as they are developed from fetal stem cells of aborted babies? Even as there are globalist depopulationists like Dr Fauci and Bill Gates behind the development of these so-called vaccines? If God is not the guiding hand for these vaccines, then we have insulted and demeaned Him with our prayer.


Finally, the second version says, “May our concern and compassion for each other see us through this crisis and lead us to conversion and holiness.” Nice thought, but this smacks of modernism. It is God who will see us through this crisis, and it is only God who brings us to conversion and holiness. To say that this happens through our concern and compassion for each other is to focus on man rather than God. Such focus has in fact resulted in looking to the well-being of man while neglecting the righteousness of God. Thus such a modernist posture has actually been leading man away from conversion and holiness. This prayer is in effect saying that we can save ourselves.


We need to get our prayer right. It can be as simple as this prayer.


“Oh God, deliver us from COVID-19.

Let the authorities find a cure for this disease.

But let us see the deeper spiritual implications of this scourge.

Bring your people to repentance.

Renew and revive your Church.

Give us in MFC the boldness to go forth and continue to do your work.

In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”


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(Oratio Imperata first version as of March 2020)

“God our Father, we come to you in our need to ask your protection against the 2019 N-Corona virus, that has claimed lives and has affected many. We pray for your grace for the people tasked with studying the nature and cause of this virus and its disease and of stemming the tide of its transmission. Guide the hands and minds of medical experts that they may minister to the sick with competence and compassion, and of those governments and private agencies that must find cure and solution to this epidemic. We pray for those afflicted. May they be restored to health soon. Grant us the grace to work for the good of all and to help those in need. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen.”


(Oratio Imperata second version as of January 2021)

“Merciful and compassionate Father, we come to you in our need to seek your protection against the COVID-19 that has disturbed and claimed many lives. We ask you now to look upon us with love and by your healing hand, dispel the fear of sickness and death, restore our hope, and strengthen our faith. We pray that you guide the people tasked to find cures for this disease and to stem its transmission. We thank you for the vaccines developed made possible by your guiding hands. Bless our efforts to use these vaccines to end the pandemic in our country. We pray for our health workers that they may minister to the sick with competence and compassion. Grant them health in mind and body, strength in their commitment, protection from the disease. We pray for those afflicted. May they be restored to health. Protect those who care for them. Grant eternal rest to those who have died. Give us the grace in these trying times to work for the good of all and to help those in need. May our concern and compassion for each other see us through this crisis and lead us to conversion and holiness. Grant all these through our Lord Jesus Christ your Son who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever. Amen.”


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