“I urge you with fatherly love to kneel together in the evening, at the service of the Paraklesis to the Theotokos,” Bishop Justin of Maramures wrote in a message at the beginning of the Dormition Fast hoping the Mother of God will ward off the coronavirus.
The Bishop of Maramures stressed that the supplicatory canon to the Mother of God has “a content appropriate for the times and tribulations we experience, due to this endless plague that disturbs and affects humanity, called the coronavirus pandemic.”
His Grace asked believers to pray to the Theotokos for “deliverance, salvation, quick relief and recovery for all the sick.”
“Let us entreat her fervently to intercede with her Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to forgive us all our sins and to give us time for correction and salvation.”
The Bishop of Maramures and Satmar also used his message to address Christian families, and particularly parents.
“You, Christian parents, mother and father, protect your children, for they are the angels whom God has entrusted to you to keep pure and enlightened by faith and heavenly grace.”
“Take them by the hand, as you do otherwise, and take them to the dwelling place of God, to the Holy Church, to the icon of the Mother of God, and, kneeling together, ask her to help you to protect and save them, that she may encompass them with her maternal love and protection, covering them from all evil and darkness and from the demons who want to steal their souls and their pure life.”
The Bishop urged parents to teach their children what prayer means by example.
“Get on your knees in evening prayer in front of the icon of the Mother of God in the family prayer corner, with the candle lit, all – mother, father and children – and teach them to live in Heaven with the angels and saints so that when they grow, they will be able to differentiate between light and darkness, between beauty and ugliness, between the heaven of happiness and the hell of suffering.”
Photography courtesy of Basilica.ro Files / Raluca Emanuela Ene
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