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Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
Published: April 29, 2021
Pope Francis first appealed to Catholics worldwide to pray the rosary to end the COVID-19 pandemic in May 2020. In Catholic tradition, the month of May is dedicated to Mary. Now, as the virus rages on in places like India, he is asking the faithful again to dedicate the month of May to a "marathon of prayer,' which "rises continuously from the entire Church to the Father" to end this global threat. See How to Pray the Rosary Guide.
The theme: "Prayer by the Church was fervently being made to God" (Acts 12:5) refers to the faithful praying for Peter (Acts 12:1-12) "who was imprisoned until God sent an angel to free him, illustrating how the Christian community comes together to pray in the face of danger and how the Lord listens and performs an unexpected miracle" explained Catholic News Service.
The Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization organized this effort with the help of 30 Marian shrines worldwide "to reach priests, families and all the faithful, inviting them to join in this prayer of intercession and hope to the Blessed Virgin Mary."
Each day will focus on a different prayer intention of the various ways people have been affected by the pandemic. Examples include prayer "for those who have not been able to say goodbye to their loved ones, for all health care personnel, for the poor, the homeless, those in economic difficulty and for all the deceased."
Throughout May, there will be a livestream from one of the 30 chosen Marian shrines to lead the prayer at 6 p.m. Rome time (11 a.m. central time) on Vatican media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube). The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. will lead the rosary on May 17. Pope Francis will lead the first rosary on May 1 and conclude it on May 31.
The rosary has been the go to prayer for pope for centuries. Read the "The Popes and the Rosary" from Vatican News to learn more. In addition to his May 2020 appeal, Pope Francis asked all Catholics to pray the rosary every day in October 2018 to ask "the holy Mother of God and St. Michael, the archangel to protect the Church from the devil, who always seeks to separate us from God and from each other."
In February, Bishop Robert Barron published a new book: "The Rosary with Bishop Robert Barron" at the same time he launched a new feature about the rosary on his website with video reflections on the joyful, sorrowful, glorious and luminous mysteries that can also be download as podcasts. Videos on how to pray the rosary and why pray the rosary are below.