Novena to Saint Roch

Novena to Saint Roch

The communities of Japan and Australia join in a novena praying for protection against Covid-19.
Brian O'Donnell

While in Japan for a job transfer, Filippo from Sydney met up with some of the CL community in Tokyo. With them a desire was born to start up a novena to St Roch, a rosary praying for his and Our Lady’s protection during the Covid-19 pandemic. St Roch is famous for miracles in keeping plague at bay from those who pray to him.

The novena continued for most of March, much longer than nine days. The communities of Tokyo, Sydney, Melbourne, sometimes Perth and Singapore would connect via computer every evening.

Although there were other weekly rosaries in our parishes and communities, there was something special about this moment. Technology has made it possible for people from different nations to pray in unison. We see each other and catch glimpses of each other’s homes in the backgrounds of our video conferences.

Meeting and praying together with others which whom the only thing we have in common is our tiny mustard seed of faith, the first surprise is how such unforeseeable circumstances have brought us together. The second surprise is how quickly we feel like a community; just our presence implies so much we have in common.