Gabonese Bishop Likens COVID-19 to “sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary, Way of the Cross”

Bishop Mathieu Madega Lebouakehan of Gabon’s Mouila diocese who is at the helm of the Bishops’ Conference.

A Catholic Bishop in Gabon has likened the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary as well as the Way of the Cross, urging Christians to remain steadfast in their faith as there is hope for victory.

“During this period, we experienced more the sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary; we have lived and we are still living the way of the cross,” the Bishop of Gabon’s Diocese of Mouila, Mathieu Madega has been quoted as saying in a Vatican News report published Tuesday, August 18.

He added, “As with any cross, with any painful mystery, the end is always characterized by the resurrection and by the glorious mystery.”

“Even the Priest, even the prophet and we will even add the Bishop who travels the country or the Diocese does not understand, from top to bottom, the full scope of this pandemic,” Bishop Madega said. 

He sought to comfort the people of God under his jurisdiction saying, “Knowing that the Lord does not forsake his own and knowing that we have asked the Lord not to despise us because of his name and to remember his covenant, we think and believe that if the Lord is with us, there is no suffering that can separate us from the love of Christ.”


“And so, there with Romans 8, we can say that ‘neither the coronavirus, nor death, nor life, will be able to separate us from the love of Christ’,” the Gabonese Prelate who is also the President of Episcopal Conference of Gabon has added.

The Central African nation has recorded at least 8,225 COVID-19 cases, 6,277 recoveries and 51 related deaths.

To control the spread of the disease, the country’s government suspended public worship and banned gatherings of more than ten people, a directive Bishop Madega says has “put a brake on all the great pastoral activities.”

In his Diocese, the 60-year-old Prelate says, the people of God are living through the pandemic “by recalling precisely the presence of Jesus in each family through the word of God, which has been enthroned.”

“By the grace of God, in the month of January, we sent out all family heads, all teachers, and all catechists as missionaries in their homes. Each leader was blessed and given a Bible to be used in families or any gathering of Christians,” the Bishop has said in the August 18 report.

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He added, “Thus, at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, we already had domestic churches strengthened by the presence of Jesus, the living word that came to save us.”

At the Episcopal Conference level, the Prelates facilitate the celebration of Sunday Mass, which is broadcast via the national Catholic television and radio to the estimated 600,000 Catholics in the country, Bishop Madega said.

Priests also use social media to reach out to the faithful, the Bishop said and added, “Novenas and other exercises of piety are also shared with Christians.”

Due to the ban on gatherings exceeding ten people, Bishop Madega said that the major seminaries were closed, and seminarians had to complete the coursework online.

The Bishop has urged Christians “to have the courage to strengthen themselves in the faith, with great hope and not to extinguish the flame of love, the love of God and the love of neighbor.”


“The victory of the Risen One will manifest, who, risen from the dead will no longer die and, over him, death no longer has any power. The coronavirus will not have the last word in Mouila, Gabon, Africa and humanity,” the Gabonese Prelate said.

He added, “It is Christ, who is the same yesterday, today and always, who is our salvation.”

“May Christians live this experience with their feet on the ground, respecting the measures to overcome this pandemic, which we are sure will end sooner or later,” he concluded.