As of now, we are all familiar with the Oratio Imperata, (Latin, “obligatory prayer”) which is usually prayed by the community at mass in parishes and in other Catholic gatherings. It is usually authorized by a bishop to be prayed by all.
What makes the Oratio Imperata different from all other general prayers is its reason: it is usually done in grave need or calamity, both natural and human. Natural calamities are typhoons, drought, volcanic eruptions, and the like. Human circumstances are wars and public disruptions such as a threat to its peace and order.
This prayer is traced to the time of the apostles when people asked for their prayers in times of natural calamities and any danger that threatens peace. In the Middle Ages, St. Isidore or San Isidro, prayed for rain during a drought.
With the succession of violence in the Philippines such as the Davao bombing, Zamboanga and Marawi City siege, and the most recent Resorts World Manila tragedy, the Oratio Imperata is once again prayed in all churches.
Below is the prayer. We encourage everyone to please join us in this prayer, and couple it with action in solidarity with all victims in this tumultuous time in our lives.
In the period of Ramadan, we can be in solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters by fasting. It is also recommendable to send out goods needed for this. The poster is below.
ORATIO IMPERATA FOR PEACE
We humbly come to you in awe of your beautiful creation, ‘manifested’ by all human beings whom you have brought together despite our differences in race, religion, and beliefs
We ask forgiveness for the times that we have failed to be good stewards of Your creation. We ask forgiveness for the times that we did not use the blessings and talents which you bestowed on us to serve especially those in need. We have been impure with our intentions and actions, and we now reap the consequences of our wrongdoings.
Violence and chaos have struck our nation affecting greatly our brothers and sisters in Mindanao. May you grant them the grace of your compassion during these tumultuous times—that they may remain resilient and strong. We pray for the end of the conflict, for the silencing of guns, and for peace to reign in the region, especially in Marawi. We pray for the rest of the country, especially our leaders, that we may not remain insensitive to the suffering of our brothers and sisters in Mindanao.