By Sam Eyoboka
LAGOS — THE over two million Catholic faithful in Lagos have been directed to pray for the speedy recovery of the Archbishop of the Lagos Metropolitan See, Anthony Cardinal Okogie, who is battling with an undisclosed ailment for sometime now.
The Edo State-born clergyman was flown out of the country for treatment in an Indian hospital last week.
The directive for the prayers for Cardinal Okogie was made by Catholic priests in the Lagos archdiocese at various Sunday masses in Lagos last week.
Adherents were directed to say the Lord’s prayer once and two Hail Mary’s each time they prayed in the day or night and then ask God to have mercy on the Archbishop by ensuring his quick recovery.
However, details of his ailment are still sketchy but a medical expert tried to link the swelling on his legs to either a liver or kidney condition.
As at the time he was flown out, his condition was described by sources close to his Holy Cross Cathedral as critical with some members saying that he could hardly stand on his feet because both legs were swollen.
All enquiries about the current state of the eminent Catholic cleric, who had long endeared himself to the Nigerian masses through social activism, proved abortive as all his priests and erstwhile vocal adherents opted to remain silent on the issue.
However, a source close to the church told our reporter yesterday on condition of anonymity that the man is responding to treatment and may soon be on his seat at the Holy Cross Cathedral in Lagos
”We are requested to say the Lord’s prayer as well as the Hail Mary, at least three times for God to intervene in his case. If you know how much we love our cardinal, you’ll know that so many people will double that mandate,” the source further said.
Others who were expecting him in their parishes for canonical visit have also intensified their intercessions because they are not willing to settle for less.
One of such parishioners who is looking forward to Okogie’s visit to his parish this month for confirmation, said: “Our parish priest had assured us on Monday that the man is responding to treatment and will soon come back to the country. We are praying.”
Okogie was appointed archbishop of Lagos Metropolitan See on April 13, 1973.