Parishes | Schools | Priests | Masses |
More in this section MAIN MENU

Pope Francis launches rosary 'marathon' for end to pandemic

All Catholics invited to participate in daily rosaries 'however and wherever they are able'

Pope Francis prays the rosary to invoke an end to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Gregorian Chapel at St Peter's Basilica on May 1, 2021.

Photographer: Vatican Media/CNA

Pope Francis prays the rosary to invoke an end to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Gregorian Chapel at St Peter's Basilica on May 1, 2021.

Catholic News Agency

VATICAN CITY | Pope Francis prayed a rosary at the start of May to ask for an end to the coronavirus pandemic, imploring the Virgin Mary to intercede for healing for the sick, comfort for the grieving, and hope for the future.

"Mother of Help, welcome us under your mantle and protect us, sustain us in the hour of trial, and ignite in our hearts the light of hope for the future," Pope Francis prayed May 1, 2021.

"At the beginning of the month dedicated to Our Lady, we unite in prayer with all of the shrines scattered throughout the world, with the faithful, and with all people of good will," he said, "to entrust in the hands of our Holy Mother all of humanity, strongly tried in this period of pandemic."

"In the present dramatic situation, full of sufferings and anxieties that grip the whole world, we turn to You, Mother of God and our Mother, and we seek refuge under your protection."

Around 160 people, including many families with young children, attended the pope's rosary, which was broadcast live from the Gregorian Chapel of St. Peter's Basilica. Situated directly to the west of the Holy Sacrament Chapel, the Gregorian Chapel contains the relics of St. Gregory of Nazianzus, a Doctor of the Church, as well as a 7th-century icon of Our Lady of Help.

The rosary kicked off a month of daily rosaries prayed at Catholic shrines around the world for the intention of an end to the coronavirus pandemic and the resumption of work and social activities. Families, teens, and young adults from Rome and the surrounding region led the rosary together with Pope Francis.

During the event May 1, Pope Francis also blessed rosaries that will be sent to the 30 Marian shrines participating in the daily live-streamed prayers. Among these are the shrines of Our Lady of Walsingham in England, the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in the United States, Our Lady of Czestochowa in Poland, the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary in South Korea, Our Lady of Aparecida in Brazil, Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage in the Philippines, Our Lady of Knock in Ireland, the Virgin of the Poor at Banneux in Belgium, Notre Dame d'Afrique in Algeria, Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima in Portugal, and Our Lady of Health in India.

Participating shrines in Italy include the Holy House of Loreto and Shrine of the Virgin of the Rosary of Pompei.

The other global shrines are Jesus the Saviour and Mother Mary in Nigeria, the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, Our Lady of Lujan in Argentina, Our Lady Queen of Peace at Medjugorje in Bosnia, St. Mary’s Cathedral in Australia, Our Lady of Lourdes in France, Meryem Ana in Turkey, Nuestra Señora de la Caridad del Cobre in Cuba, Our Lady of Nagasaki in Japan, Nuestra Señora de Montserrat in Spain, Notre Dame du Cap in Canada, the National Shrine Our Lady Ta’ Pinu in Malta, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe in Mexico, Mother of God in Zarvantysia in Ukraine, Altotting in Germany, and Our Lady of Lebanon in Harissa, Lebanon.

Pope Francis will also close the month of rosaries by leading the prayer in the Vatican Gardens May 31.

The initiative, organized by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, is in response to a request from the pope.

“Pope Francis wishes to involve all the shrines around the world in this initiative, so that they may become vehicles of the prayer of the entire Church,” a press release said. “The initiative is being conducted in the light of the biblical expression: ‘Prayer by the Church was fervently being made to God’ (Acts 12:5).”

The Vatican’s evangelization office said it had “extended this invitation to all the shrines around the world, in order to promote the diffusion of the initiative in the relevant regions, so as to reach priests, families, and all the faithful, inviting them to join in this prayer of intercession and hope to the Blessed Virgin Mary.”

All Catholics are invited to participate in the daily rosaries however and wherever they are able, the press release said.

A liturgical guide, available in EnglishSpanish, and Italian, can be downloaded from the website of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization.

While kicking off the marathon of prayer for an end to the pandemic, Pope Francis blessed 30 rosaries that will be sent to the 30 Marian shrines participating in the daily live-streamed prayers during the month of May.

Photographer: Vatican Media/CNA

While kicking off the marathon of prayer for an end to the pandemic, Pope Francis blessed 30 rosaries that will be sent to the 30 Marian shrines participating in the daily live-streamed prayers during the month of May.


Click here to post your comments about this article.

Latest News

Breaking News

Feature News

Parish News

School News