By Tracy Cabrera
MANILA — Following reports about the death of Pope Francis’ personal physician Fabrizio Soccorsi, a doctor and churchgoer in the Manila Archdiocese has started an online campaign to pray for the health of the pontiff, saying that he fears Soccorsi may have infected the pope before he expired on Saturday, January 9, from Covid-19.
The Manila doctor, Dr. Joseph Edralin, enjoined the Catholic faithful to recite the rosary for nine days as a way to ask God and the Blessed Mother Mary to protect the pope from harm.
Initial reports from the Vatican City said that Francis’ physician did not show signs or symptoms of the deadly disease but on his death, it was confirmed that his demise was caused by coronavirus infection.
Other doctors and churchgoers across the country have followed suit in praying for the 84-year-old pontiff.
“I hope and pray Pope Francis is safe from the coronavirus. We received reports that the pope was having medical consultations more than thrice a week . . . having a physician infected with Covid-19 is a serious matter,” Dr. Eduardo Hababag pointed out.
He added that members of the papal household should undergo regular mandatory swab tests for the health and safety of the Holy Father.
Meanwhile, Edralin’s daily rosary recitation entitled ‘Rosary for the Pope’ is being held at 8 in the evening each day local time with a Filipino family assigned to lead and to recite the rosary.
“Let us join our hands together by seeking the mantle of protection of our Blessed Mother for nine days. Join our online recitation of the rosary for nine days dedicated to the health and safety of Pope Francis,” the doctor wrote on his social media account.
“In this way, we show the world and our country that our faith is stronger than the pandemic and we are one with the Holy Father. Pope Francis, too, needs prayers … so we are praying for his good health,” he further said.
Another churchgoer has printed the pope’s image on face masks asking people for prayers.
“Pray for the pope … We hope that the pope is Covid-free,” announced one of the logos on the masks being sold online.
Father Obet Geralde of Catanduanes Diocese said churchgoers should not worry too much about the pope’s health because church officials were likely taking extra precautions to protect his health.
“Please be assured that the papal household is taking the virus seriously,” Father Geralde concluded. (Source Union of Catholic Asian News).