A priest has urged the faithful to pray daily, particularly the Rosary, to help end the global coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.

In an interview, Rev. Fr. Carlos V. Reyes of the Our Lady of Fatima Parish Church in Mandaluyong City cited two instances in the history of the church on how the power of prayer stopped the spread of a plague that hit Europe in 599 A.D. and 1580.

Then Pope Gregory the Great, who later became a saint, led a prayer procession in Rome, Italy to ask God to stop a deadly virus that hit Europe.

“During the long procession, the Pope Gregory stopped upon reaching a museum when he saw an angel above cleaning a sword after which the Angel put the sword back into the scabbard,” Fr. Reyes said based on what he read in the church historical records.

Asked if other people in the procession saw the angel, Fr. Reyes said, “no, only the Pope”.

“The appearance of the angel was a sign to an end of the pandemic in Italy and the whole of Europe,” Reyes said.

He said the 1580 pestilence that broke out in Milan, Italy forced the closure of all churches “similar to what is happening today when churches across the globe have been closed due to the coronavirus”.

Fr. Reyes said during that dark period, it was “St. Charles Borromeo, who was then the bishop of Milan, led a prayer offering during a Mass to plead to God to put an end to the deadly plague”.

“Since the church was padlocked, Bishop Borromeo ordered the setting up of an altar in the plaza and put up four crosses on it where the Holy Mass was held,” he said.

“Shortly thereafter, God answered their prayers and the pandemic disease stopped,” he added. (Ben Cal, PNA)