Pope Francis launches rosary "marathon" against the pandemic
In St. Peter's Basilica Pope Francis kicked off a month-long “prayer marathon” for the end of the pandemic.
Throughout the month, the Rosary will be prayed from a different Marian shrine every day to pray for the end of the Covid-19 pandemic and for all of its victims.
Pope Francis led the first Rosary of the month. It was held in the Gregorian Chapel inside St. Peter's Basilica. The chapel features a 7th century icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, one of the oldest images in the basilica.
Several families were in attendance, creating a sense of unity among all those present during the prayer.
Before closing the prayer the Pope prayed to the Virgin Mary for those most suffering from the effects of the pandemic. He specifically referred to the extreme situations of those in isolation. From women being exposed to abuse, to feelings of loneliness among the sick and elderly.
Virgin Mary, turn your merciful eyes towards us in the midst of this coronavirus pandemic and give comfort to those who are lost and to those who mourn for their deceased loved ones, who may be buried in a way that wounds the soul.
The Pope also prayed for the protection of doctors and nurses, aid in overcome the economic crisis and for a radical change in the way the world spends money.
Most Holy Mary. Touch consciences so that the enormous sums of money used to produce and perfect weapons may instead be used to promote effective studies for the prevention of similar catastrophes in the future.
Pope Francis ended the prayer by blessing 30 rosaries which will go to the different shrines in which the Rosary will be prayed each day throughout the month at 6 p.m. Rome time.
The prayer marathon brings together countries of drastically different origins and cultures.
It is a tribute to unity in diversity and a gesture of "universal fraternity," as Pope Francis stated in a tweet he posted that same day:
“#LetUsPrayTogether the Rosary to face the trials of this moment together and to be ever more united as a spiritual family.”