Pope Francis has opened the Marian month of prayer on May 1 with a rosary broadcast across the world, for an end to the pandemic.
You may join the rosary marathon live here on Vatican’s Media’s platform
The initiative involves 30 Marian Shrines from various parts of the world. It takes place under the theme “The whole Church was fervently praying to God,” which recalls a verse in the Book of Acts (12:5).
The Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelisation announced the news with a press release last week.
“The initiative will involve all the shrines of the world in a special way, so that they might encourage the faithful, families, and communities to recite the rosary to pray for an end to the pandemic,” read the statement.
Each day will see Vatican News broadcast the recitation of the rosary at 6 pm in Rome from the various shrines taking part in the initiative.
Vatican: 6 pm
USA – 12 EST
Europe – 5 pm (BST)
India – 9:30 pm (IST)
Australia – 2 am (AEST)
The pope will also close the initiative on May 31, with another specially-broadcast rosary.
This year’s dedication of May to pandemic-related prayer recalls a similar occurrence during the first wave in March 2020.
He had observed in a letter to the faithful when lockdown began last year – that the directives given by governments in various countries due to Coronavirus pandemic including “staying at home” is an opportunity for families to strengthen their spiritual life together.
“The restrictions of the pandemic have made us come to appreciate all the more this “family” aspect, also from a spiritual point of view,” the Pope said and added, “It is traditional in this month to pray the rosary at home within the family.”
(With inputs from Vatican News)