Philippines Bishops Call for Prayers Amid Extreme Heatwave

Catholic bishops in the Philippines instruct followers to recite special prayers for rain and heat relief amid an extreme heatwave. The heatwave has closed tens of thousands of schools, strained the power supply, and ruined billions of pesos worth of farm produce.

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Philippines Bishops Call for Prayers Amid Extreme Heatwave

Philippines Bishops Call for Prayers Amid Extreme Heatwave

As the Philippines grapples with an extreme heatwave, Catholic bishops in the country have instructed their followers to recite special prayers forrain, heat, relief. The scorching heat has forced the closure of tens of thousands of schools, strained the country's power supply, and ruined billions of pesos worth of farm produce due to a widespread El Niño drought.

Why this matters: The extreme heatwave in the Philippines highlights the urgent need for climate action and adaptation strategies to mitigate the impacts of rising temperatures on vulnerable communities. As the country's experience shows, climate-related disasters can have far-reaching consequences for food security, education, and economic stability.

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) issued an "Oratio Imperata" (Obligatory Prayer) titled "Oratio Imperata Ad Petendam Pluviam" (Obligatory Prayer for Requesting rain) to address the grave need for relief from the heatwave. The prayer implores, "We humbly ask you to grant us relief from the extreme heat that besets your people at this time, disrupting their activities and threatening their lives and livelihood. Send us rain to replenish our depleting water sources, to irrigate our fields, to stave off water and power shortages and to provide water for our daily needs."

The Philippines, a predominantly Catholic nation, has turned to prayer in times of crisis before. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CBCP also released a similar obligatory prayer. The current prayer invokes the intercession of the Virgin Mary and several Filipino saints, including Our Lady of Guadalupe, Saint Rose of Lima, Saint Lorenzo Ruiz, and Saint Pedro Calungsod.

A record-high temperature of 38.8°C (101.8°F) was recorded in Manila on April 27, 2024, forcing the closure of over 47,000 schools for two days. As of Friday, nearly 8,000 schools remained shuttered, with the highest temperature in the country recorded at 38.2°C on the island of Mindoro. The El Niño-induced drought, which began early this year, has already ruined 5.9 billion pesos ($103 million) worth of farm produce, according to the Department of Agriculture.

The extreme heatwave has disrupted daily life, threatened livelihoods, and depleted water sources across the Philippines. The Catholic Church's call forpublic, rain, view, rising, heat, indexreflects the severity of the situation and the nation's deep faith in times of hardship. As the country awaits much-needed rainfall, the bishops'seek, intervention, amid, relentless, heatunderscores the challenges faced by millions of Filipinos in the grip of this climate crisis.

Key Takeaways

  • Philippines faces extreme heatwave, prompting Catholic bishops to issue prayer for rain.
  • Heatwave closes 47,000+ schools, strains power supply, and ruins $103M in farm produce.
  • Record-high temperature of 101.8°F recorded in Manila, with 8,000 schools still closed.
  • El Niño-induced drought ruins 5.9B pesos worth of farm produce, depletes water sources.
  • Catholic Church's prayer for rain highlights urgent need for climate action and adaptation.