CHUR, Switzerland, March 12, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Bishop Marian Eleganti, an auxiliary bishop in the Swiss Diocese of Chur, has said he expects “miracles” in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic.
“I count on the power and protection of God,” Eleganti said in a video.
“How can we capitulate in the face of this supernatural reality?” he asked.
Given the power of God, Eleganti said he was unable to expect contamination from receiving the Eucharist. Trust in God is nothing abstract, but “existential” and “concrete.”
In Scripture, he explained, there was a power going out from Jesus Christ, which is still there today.
The Gospel of Mark relates the story of a woman “who had had a flow of blood for twelve years.” She tried to touch the garment of Christ, convinced that it would be enough to heal her. “And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone forth from him, immediately turned about in the crowd, and said, ‘Who touched my garments?’”
Eleganti sees that same power in the Eucharist. “I believe in this supernatural power of the presence of God in the Holy Host, which is the Body of Christ,” the bishop said.
In his short video, the Swiss bishop and former Benedictine abbot pointed out that in the Old Testament, there was a clear connection between the “spiritual state” of the people of Israel, including its faithfulness to God, on the one hand, and the “historical events” it had to experience, including plagues and illnesses.
The prophets in the Old Testament frequently accused the kings of trusting not in God, but in their own means, according to Eleganti.
Similarly, he continued, the message of Our Lady to the seers in Fatima showed that prayer, dedication to God, and faith are connected to the “troubles and fates” of all peoples.
Great saints called for “prayer, penance, repentance, as well as trust in God,” Eleganti said. He explicitly mentioned St. Gregory the Great and St. Charles Borromeo.
In a recent essay, Italian historian Roberto de Mattei described how Gregory faced the plague in the 6th century.
The Pope exhorted everyone “to raise their eyes to God, who permits such tremendous punishments in order to correct His children. To placate the divine wrath, the Pope ordered a ‘seven-form litany,’ that is, a procession of the entire Roman population, divided into seven corteges, according to sex, age and condition. The procession moved from the various Roman churches towards the Vatican Basilica, singing litanies along the way.”
“The seven corteges moved through the buildings of ancient Rome, barefoot, at a slow pace, heads covered in ashes. While the multitude traversed the city, in sepulchral silence, the pestilence reached such a point of fury, that in the brief space of an hour, eighty people fell dead to the ground,” de Mattei continued.
Pope Gregory was not dismayed. He “didn’t cease for a second in exhorting the people to continue praying and insisted that the picture of the Virgin painted by St. Luke and kept in Santa Maria Maggiore be brought to the front of the procession.”
After the procession, Gregory saw “at the top of the castle an angel, who, after drying his sword dripping with blood, put it back in its sheath, as a sign that the punishment was over.”
Most of Italy is on lockdown to control the spread of the virus. Italy is the country hit the hardest by the virus other than China, where it originated.
The Diocese of Rome announced today that all Catholic churches in the city will be closed to the faithful until April 3. Public Masses had already been cancelled, but the faithful had still been able to privately pray in churches at certain times.