ROME - In the past few months, the coronavirus disease, popularly known as COVID-19, has greatly affected the global community and put the world into a standstill. It has created panic and fear among all nations that led them to impose total lockdown resulting to rigid restrictions and strict adherence to health protocols such as home quarantine, social distancing and the like in order to avoid further infections and stop its transmission. People are obliged to avoid social gatherings and some of them even lost their jobs, causing them to worry on how they can provide the fundamental needs of their family.
In this time of crisis, people turn to prayer to gain strength. However, even churches are closed and Masses are suspended and getting through this situation requires a lot of spiritual innovation. Amid this pandemic, people are asked to pray at home and are encouraged to watch online masses.
Likewise, the Filipino community at the Montfort Missionaries Generalate Grotto is also affected by this total lockdown. Despite of their preparations for the Holy Week before this pandemic started, all religious activities were put to a halt. But due to their devotion and strong desire to remain united in prayer, the members of the community, under the dedication and leadership of Fr. Reynaldo Bullas Jr., SMM, participated from different places in praying daily the Holy Rosary online at 6pm in a Montfortian way. In every mystery, special intentions were offered such as: the recovery of the victims, protection of the frontliners, discovery of medical cure and others related to the situation. After the prayer, they spend a moment to listen to one another, to share the current situation in their own respective families and give words of encouragement.
During this time of fear and uncertainties, COVID-19 pushes them hard to rekindle their faith to see God’s intervention in overpowering the devastating effect of coronavirus. A prayer from home like this, live streamed through social media, assures them of God’s presence and the support of one another.
The Rosary is temporarily suspended to give way to the celebration of the Easter Triduum but will resume after Easter Sunday until the situation returns to normal.
The Grotto at the Montfort Missionaries General House was constructed by the volunteers from Bergamo through the initiative of Fr. Santino Brembilla, SMM (former Superior General) as a remembrance of the 300th anniversary of the death of St. Louis-Marie de Montfort. Since its construction, it is maintained by the Filipinos who are living near the general house, under the care of Fr. Rey, SMM. Sunday Masses and other religious activities are celebrated regularly in this grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes.
Please click the links below to watch some of the videos.