Pope Francis has urged Catholics to participate in a rosary initiative dedicating the month of May to a prayer marathon for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“For the deep desire of the Holy Father, the month of May will be dedicated to a prayer marathon with the theme ‘Prayer to God went up incessantly from the whole Church,’” the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization said.
The council said the world’s Catholic shrines would be involved in a special way as promoters of the rosary.
Thirty of the shrines will take turns leading a daily live-streamed rosary at 12 p.m. Eastern time, the council said.
The Catholic Church dedicates the month of May to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Pope Francis will open the month of prayer on May 1, asking for Mary’s intercession. The Pope will also close the initiative on May 31 with another specially-broadcast rosary.
Pope Francis spoke about the coronavirus and its economic effects in a video message to participants in the 27th Ibero-American Summit in Andorra April 21.
The COVID-19 pandemic “has demanded enormous sacrifices from each nation and its citizens,” he said.
The pope said he had prayed for the millions of people who have died from COVID-19 or who are suffering from the illness, as well as their families.
“The pandemic has made no distinctions and has hit people of all cultures, creeds, social and economic strata,” he said.
He emphasized the importance of considering anti-COVID vaccination as a “universal common good.”
“In this area, initiatives that seek to create new forms of solidarity at the international level are particularly welcome, with mechanisms aimed at guaranteeing an equitable distribution of vaccines, not based on purely economic criteria, but taking into account the needs of all, especially those of the most vulnerable and needy.” Catholic News Agency