Entrusted by the Holy Father, the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization announced the initiative on launching a month-long prayer marathon in May. All the Marian sanctuaries across the world have been urged to pray each day in May in their own local language for the common wish: the resumption of social life, work, culture and sporting activities.
Global prayer for the entire humankind
The Marian Shrines were asked to encourage the faithful to join in the daily prayer. The Marathon of Prayer has been opened and is going to be closed by the Holy Father himself. Each of the Sanctuaries have been tasked to reach the priests, further on as much as possible families and all the faithful within their Regions, inviting them to devote a moment and to join in this prayer of intercession and hope to the Blessed Virgin Mary. “Together with the prayer of the Holy Rosary a special prayer of intention is proposed for each day that is offered for the various categories of people most affected by the pandemic, including those having been unable to say goodbye to their beloved ones, the poor, the homeless, the ones living in economic difficulties, and all the deceased of the pandemic…amongst others.” – says the Vatican News press report.
Mother of God, help us!
On 1st of May Pope Francis prayed in front of the Madonna del Soccorso, (Our Lady of Help) venerated icon, housed inside the Gregorian Chapel in the right side nave of Saint Peter’s Basilica. In 2012, still under the papacy of Pope Benedict XVI, the ancient icon underwent a restoration supported by the Knights of Columbus, and was blessed by Pope Francis in 2013, right at the beginning of his pontificate. “Maria Succurre Nos, Franciscus PP. A.I.” (Mother of God, Help us! Pope Francis, in his first year of papacy!) - can be read on the icon frame. By this invocation Pope Francis offered himself as well into the devotion of Our Lady of Help.
As a conclusion of the Marathon of Prayer opening ceremony, Pope Francis blessed the special Rosaries having been prepared particularly for this event. Following the blessings they were sent to the thirty Marian Shrines participating in the Marathon of Prayer. At the end of the month, on 31st May, Pope Francis will conclude the event series at the Vatican Gardens.
The world comes together
The Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization published the list of the chosen thirty representative Marian Shrines that would take their one day of the month turn to lead the Church’s world-wide common prayers. The designated Shrines are: Our Lady of Walsingham, England; Jesus the Saviour and Mother Mary, Nigeria; Our Lady of Częstochowa, Poland; Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, Israel; Blessed Virgin of the Rosary, South Korea; Our Lady Aparecida, Brazil; Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, the Philippines; Our Lady of Lujan, Argentina; Holy House of Loreto, Italy; Our Lady of Knock, Ireland; Virgin of the Poor at Banneux, Belgium; Notre Dame d’ Afrique, Algeria; Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima, Portugal; Our Lady of Health, India; Our Lady Queen of Peace at Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina; St. Mary’s Cathedral, Australia; Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, United States; Our Lady of Lourdes, France; Meryem Ana, Turkey; Nuestra Señora de la Caridad del Cobre, Cuba; Our Lady of Nagasaki, Japan; Nuestra Señora de Montserrat, Spain; Notre Dame du Cap, Canada; National Shrine of Our Lady Ta’Pinu, Malta; Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, Mexico; Mother of God in Zarvantysia, Ukraine; Black Madonna of Altötting, Germany; Our Lady of Lebanon, Lebanon; Blessed Virgin of the Holy Rosary of Pompeii, Italy.
The Rosary, guided from the different Shrines can be followed online. They are live broadcast on the official channels of the Holy See each day at 18.00 (Rome time).
Source: Vatican News
Photo: One of the thirty Marian Shrines: Shrine of Our Lady of Health, India- the country where the pandemic is still raging high (Vatican News)