Pray for us, Yolanda survivors ask Pope Francis
TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines – Fifty-year-old Lilia Pagtabunan stood by a road in silence as Catholic devotees in Tacloban passed by, carrying rosaries and chanting prayers.
The procession, held on Friday, December 5, was a devotional ritual for divine intervention in the face of another strong typhoon expected to cross Yolanda-affected areas in Leyte and Samar.
Pagtabunan survived the super typhoon in 2013. She prayed her province will be saved from another tragedy when Typhoon Ruby strikes this weekend.
Leyte and Samar provinces are among the 47 provinces expected to bear the brunt of the storm, the strongest to hit the country this year.
Ruby is currently classified as a super typhoon by the US Joint Typhoon Warning Center.
The Philippine state bureau is now expecting landfall early Sunday, December 7, over the Eastern Samar-Northern Samar area, and will be "associated with strong winds, storm surge (up to 4.5 meters) and heavy-intense rainfall."
This has dampened the excitement if not the hope of Yolanda survivors over the January 2015 papal visit. They're asking Pope Francis to be with them in prayers as they face another "trial," Pagtabunan said.
“Sakupon unta kita hit iya pangadi, nga diri na unta magbalik-balik ha aton ini nga mga trahedya, nga mabuligan kita niya,” according to Pagtabunan. (May he help us and include us in his prayers to keep tragedies like this from happening again.)
Local Catholic leaders earlier called on their faithful to include prayers in their preparedness efforts.
Palo Archbishop John Du “urged all the priests to guide all the faithful to be spiritually prepared, making them calm and assuring them that God is with us in this time of need,” Fr Amadeo Alvero, spokesman of the archdiocese, told CBCP News.
In Manila, Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle ordered parishes to say an obligatory prayer “for deliverance from calamities.” (READ: Cardinal Tagle issues obligatory prayer vs Ruby) – Rappler.com