FALL RIVER  ̶  Pope Francis has invited Catholics around the world to take part in a marathon of prayer during the month of May for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. This global prayer initiative calls for a daily recitation of the Rosary in this month dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, which is organizing the initiative, said in its April 21 announcement, that “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.’”

Each day throughout the month of May at 12 noon EDT, Vatican online media platforms will livestream the Rosary from one of 30 different Marian shrines around the world to lead the recitation of the prayer.

“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,” the Pontifical Council explained.

To begin the month-long prayer marathon, on Saturday, May 1, Pope Francis will lead a Rosary live from the Gregorian Chapel of St. Peter’s Basilica. The pope will also close the month of Rosaries by leading the prayer in Vatican Gardens May 31.

“I am very pleased that Pope Francis called for a global prayer marathon for the upcoming month of May to pray for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V. “I want to encourage all of our faithful people to take part, joining their prayers to this critical cause.

“Persons can participate by reciting the Rosary at noon (perhaps along with the Vatican broadcast), or at any other time in the day as one’s schedule permits. People can gather as a family or as a group at home to pray, or they can come together as a parish community to pray in the church.

“The month of May presents a significant opportunity for us to turn in prayer to Mary, our Blessed Mother, asking for her intercession to help bring an end to the suffering that so many have been forced to bear in the grips of this pandemic over the past 14 months.”

A liturgical guide for this prayer initiative, available in English and Spanish , can be downloaded from the website of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization.

Diocese of Fall River
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