Friday, July 31, 2009

40 Hour Eucharistic Vigil for Cory Aquino

An age-old devotion of Eucharistic vigil was "reintroduced" into the Philippines to pray for former president Cory Aquino, who has been battling colon cancer.  Reintroduced because it wasn't heard of for a veeeery looong time.


40-hour prayer vigil for former Pres. Aquino’s speedy recovery begins tonight

MANILA, July 30 –- A 40-hour prayer vigil for the speedy recovery of cancer-stricken former President Corazon C. Aquino is set to begin tonight at the the Shrine of Our Lady of Peace on EDSA (Epifanio delos Santos Ave.) at the boundary of Quezon City and Mandaluyong City.

Mrs. Aquino’s supporters will offer a 40-hour collective adoration of the exposed Eucharist, or Quarant’ore. [A devotion instituted by St. Philip Neri.  More about this below.] The rites will start at 7 p.m. with a Mass to be celebrated by Bishop Teodoro Bacani.

On Saturday, August 1, a dawn procession of Our Lady of Fatima, another EDSA icon, will be held starting at 5:30 a.m. The closing rites will be held on the same day with another Mass and a procession of Our Lady of EDSA.

The Quarant’ore is in honor of the time Jesus spent in the tomb. The devotion started in Milan in 1534, [no.] with the Blessed Sacrament displayed [is this the right term to use?] continuously for 40 hours during a time of calamity.  [huh?]

The prayer groups supporting the EDSA Shrine and the prayer vigil include the Sacred Land of Asia, Wellspring of Life Community, Marian Movement Cenacle Group, Luminous Cross of Grace, Hijas de Maria and Knights of Malta. [ hmm... my brother Knights were not there?]

Reports said the condition of the 76-year-old former President has slightly improved although still "not ideal," a day after a family member said her blood pressure had been erratic. (PNA) 


Here is my take on the "Quarant'Ore".  The 40 Hours Devotion, since it lasts for 40 hours was introduced by St. Philip Neri in 1548, in Rome.  It is the continuous adoration of the exposed Blessed Sacramant, in honor of the time Our Lord spent in the tomb.  Even though the devotion is for forty hours, a person is not expected to spend 40 hours in adoration.  

This devotion is often practiced during the Sacred Triduum (which is Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Black Saturday) but can also be also offered in special times such as  great Feasts, or for special occassions such as the collective praying for the healing of Mrs. Aquino.

On a side note, yellow has been the signature color of Pres. Cory.  Her assassinated husband's favorite song was "Tie a Yellow Ribbon".  So after his assassination, the opposition movement in the Philippines used yellow as the color against the dictator Ferdinand Marcos.  The YouTube clip below comprise part 1 of Mrs. Aquino's before her historic speech at the joint session of the US Congress.  

Beautiful speech.  One of the proudest moments of being Pinoy!

Part 2 can be viewed here

The last part of her speech is here

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