MANILA, Philippines — In an early Thursday morning mass before thousands of devotees of the Black Nazarene, Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle urged them to observe a moment of silence and pray for peace in the Middle East.
Appointed recently by Pope Francis to a department in the Vatican in charge of spreading the Catholic faith, Cardinal Tagle expressed hope during the Holy Mass at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila celebration of the Feast of the Black Nazarene, the present situation in the Middle East does not escalate into a more bloody war.
“Sa ating pagtitipon na puno ng pananalangin [at] pasasalamat, atin pong alalahanin na sa ibang bahagi ng ating mundo ay nag-aamba ang panganib ng karahasan, at hari nawa huwag umuwi sa gitera, sa digmaan,” Tagle said.
“Ipanalangin po natin na maging ligtas ang ating mga kapwa sa Middle East, humupa ang mga pagnanaiis na sirain ang kapwa, humupa ang mga hangarin na maghiganti,” he added.
At the same time, the Cardinal who is due to assume his post in the Vatican next month, also asked devotees to pray for Filipino OWFs caught in the middle of the tension in the Middle East along with their respective families left worried here in the Philippines.
“Inaanyayahan ko kayo na tumahimik ng sandali at mag-alay ng panalangin para sa kapayapaan,” Tagle said.
Reports have it that on Wednesday, Iran reportedly launched a missile attack on an Iraqi airbase where the US and coalition forces are based.
The missile attack came after the United States launched a drone airstrike in Baghdad, Iraq, that killed Iran’s top general, Qassem Soleimani.
Malacanang has already ordered the repatriation of all Filipino overseas workers in Iran and Iraq.
The military has already been on standby mode ready to repatriate OWFs in the Middle Easter either by air or through its naval assets. (JGo/CurrentPH.com)