POPE FRANCIS – MONTH OF MAY IN 30 SHRINES •
On Saturday, 1 May, Pope Francis presided over the praying of the Rosary during the inauguration of the prayer marathon for the end of the pandemic, that will continue every day throughout May in various Marian shrines around the world, in a “rosary without borders,” as Alessandro De Carolis, from Vatican Media described. —
“From ‘W’ for Walsingham to ‘P’ for Pompeii. This is the alphabet of the Rosary, the alpha and omega of the worldwide Marian marathon, that began on 1 May, called by Pope Francis to pray for the end of the pandemic. A prayer chain of faith and devotion symbolized by the crown of the Holy Rosary, which will be prayed daily at 18:00, Roman time, in 30 shrines on five continents,” said Alessandro De Carolis. “ to pray the Rosary with the Holy Father in front of the Grotta di Lourdes in the Vatican Gardens. This year, the prayer will be multilingual, with many languages and accents — from South Korea to Brazil, from Sydney to Washington, including some of the most famous shrines, such as Fatima, Czestochowa, Loreto.”
The symbol of a decentralized, synodal, diverse church united in Jesus and selfless service for others. Like in Cana.
The opening took place at 18:00 (Roman time) before hundreds of people in the Gregorian Chapel of St. Peter’s Basilica, streamed live to thousands of people around the world.
The Holy Father said a few opening words while standing before the statue of Our Lady of Perpetual Help: “At the beginning of month dedicated to the Blessed Mother, we unite in prayer with all the shrines scattered throughout the world, with the faithful and all people of good will, to entrust into the hands of our Holy Mother all of humanity, who have been sorely tried during this pandemic.”
“Every day of this month of May, we will entrust to you, Mother of Mercy, the many people who have been affected by the virus and who continue to suffer its consequences,” he stated.
A very special moment was when the Pope blessed the rosaries that will be sent to the Marian shrines around the world which will participate in the prayer marathon.
Sometimes we ask how we can practically keep our hand on the pulse of time. This is an obligation to which the Covenant of Love commits us, which prevents us from fleeing the real world and reducing the Apostolic Movement to a “club of personal holiness” on the “island of the good,” as Fr. Kentenich said so many times. Pope Francis, with his initiative and very real and practical prayers, shows us how we can do this.
Pope Francis’ prayer
“We fly to your protection, O Holy Mother of God.”
In the present tragic situation, when the whole world is filled with suffering and anxiety, we fly to you, Mother of God and our Mother, and we seek refuge under your protection.
O Virgin Mary, turn your merciful eyes toward us in this coronavirus pandemic, and console those who are distraught and mourn the death of their loved ones, who are sometimes buried in a way that grieves them deeply. Sustain those who are concerned but cannot be close to the sick to prevent the spread of the virus. Instill confidence in those who live in fear of an uncertain future and the consequences for the economy and employment.
Mother of God and our Mother, implore to the Father of mercy that this difficult trial may end and that we can once again find a future of hope and peace. As in Cana, intercede for us to your Divine Son, asking him to console the families of those who are sick and those who have died, and that their hearts may be opened to hope.
Protect the doctors, the nurses, health workers, volunteers, who have been fighting on the frontline of this emergency and who risk their lives to save others. Accompany their heroic efforts and give them strength, generosity, and health.
Remain close to those who assist the sick, night and day, and priests who, through their pastoral care and commitment to the gospels, are trying to help and support everyone.
Blessed Virgin, enlighten the minds of the men and women engaged in scientific research, that they may find adequate solutions to overcome this virus.
Assist the leaders of nations, that they may act with wisdom, diligence, and generosity, helping those who lack the basic necessities of life, by developing ample social and economic solutions with a spirit of solidarity.
Mary Most Holy, stir our consciences so that that the enormous sums of money used to increase and perfect weapons can be used to fund effective research to prevent similar catastrophes in the future.
Beloved Mother, increase the world’s sense of belonging to one great family, recognizing the bonds that unite us all, so that, with a spirit of fraternity and solidarity, we can help to alleviate the many forms of poverty and suffering. Make us strong in faith, perseverance, service, and constant prayer.
O Mary, comfort of the afflicted, embrace all your children who suffer tribulation, pray that God’s powerful hand may free us from this terrible pandemic and that life may return to serene normality.
We entrust ourselves to You, a bright light of salvation and hope shining unto our path. O clement, oh loving, oh sweet Virgin Mary! Amen.
Original: Spanish. Translation: Sarah-Leah Pimentel, Cape Town, South Africa