Digos, Philippines, Dec 18, 2019 / 22:01 pm
After a southern Philippines earthquake killed at least nine and displaced thousands of people on Monday, survivors emphasized their need for fresh water, and Catholic leaders called for prayer and aid for the victims as Christmas approaches.
"Let us remember our brothers and sisters in Mindanao, who experienced an earthquake that is even stronger than the previous ones," Cardinal Luis Tagle of Manila said in his Dec. 16 homily at Manila's cathedral, CBCP News reports.
The 6.9-magnitude earthquake in the southern Philippines province of Davao del Sur came the day before many Filipino Catholics began to observe the Advent tradition of Simbang Gabi, a nine-day series of Masses held to honor the Virgin Mary and to prepare for Christmas.
"Let us stand together with our brethren, who are, at this time, attending the Simbang Gabi not inside a beautiful church but are still manifesting their faith," said the cardinal.