Pope Francis is urging us to dedicate the month of May to pray for end to the Covid-19 pandemic.  May is known as “Mary’s Month,” a special time of the year when devotions are performed in honour of Our Lady, in particular Praying the Rosary.

The Holy Father has invited Catholics and 30 Marian Shrines around the world to participate in a marathon of prayer for an end to the pandemic.  The National Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham has been selected to start the month of prayer on 1 May.

“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.”   The Vatican

The theme – “The whole Church was fervently praying to God.” – refers to the miraculous event recounted in the Acts of the Apostles (12:1-12) when all the church prayed for Peter, 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.

After more than a year, with the world still in the grips of the pandemic, the Pope and the Church around the world are once again leading the way in imploring God for an end to the suffering which so many people are forced to bear.

Marian Shrines & Daily Prayer Intentions

May 1       Our Lady of Walsingham (England)
For all the deceased

May 2       Jesus the Saviour and Mother Mary (Nigeria)
For all those who have not been able to say goodbye to their deceased loved ones

May 3       Our Lady of Częstochowa (Poland)
For all those infected with the corona virus and all the sick

May 4       Basilica of the Annunciation (Israel)
For all expectant women and their unborn babies

May 5       Blessed Virgen del Rosario (South Korea)
For all children and adolescents

May 6       Our Lady of Aparecida (Brazil)
For all young people

May 7       Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage (Philippines)
For all families

May 8       Our Lady of Luján (Argentina)
For all communication workers

May 9       Holy house of Loreto (Italy)
For all seniors

May 10     Our Lady of Knock (Ireland)
For all people with disabilities

May 11     Virgin of the Poor (Belgium)
For all the poor, the homeless, and the economically distressed

May 12     Our Lady of Africa (Algeria)
For all people who live alone and those who have lost hope

May 13     Blessed Virgen del Rosario (Portugal)
For all prisoners

May 14     Our Lady of Health (India)
For all scientists and medical research institutions

May 15     Our Lady Queen of Peace (Bosnia)
For all migrants

May 16     St Mary’s Cathedral (Australia)
For all victims of violence and human trafficking

May 17     Immaculate Conception (USA)
For all world leaders and for all heads of international organizations

May 18     Our Lady of Lourdes (France)
For all doctors and nurses

May 19     Mother Mary's House (Turkey)
For all people at war and for world peace

May 20     Our Lady of Charity of Copper (Cuba)
For all pharmacists and health care personnel

May 21     Our Lady of Nagasaki (Japan)
For all social workers

May 22     Our Lady of Montserrat (Spain)
For all volunteers

May 23     Our Lady of Cap (Canada)
For all law enforcement and military personnel and for all firefighters

May 24     To be confirmed
For all those who provide essential services

May 25     Basilica of the Blessed Virgin of Ta’Pinu (Malta)
For all teachers, students and educators

May 26     Our Lady of Guadalupe (Mexico)
For all workers and entrepreneurs

May 27     Mother of God (Ukraine)
For all the unemployed

May 28     Black Madonna of Altötting (Germany)
For the Holy Father, bishops, presbyters, and deacons

May 29     Our Lady of Lebanon (Lebanon)
For all consecrated men and women

May 30     Blessed Virgin of the Holy Rosary of Pompeii (Italy)
For the Church

May 31     Vatican Gardens (Italy)
For the end of the pandemic and the resumption of our social and economic life

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Rosary Circle takes place on Tuesdays and Fridays at 7:30pm.  You are invited to join us in prayer for peace in the world and the needs of our parish.  Contact Christine Cornwell for Zoom details.

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Praying with Mary provides, in this continuing Year of the Word, a biblical basis for meditating on Jesus Christ in the Mysteries of the Rosary.  It also includes a Marian Prayer for the Easter Season.  Click here to access this leaflet.

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In 2020, Pope Francis wrote two new prayers for Mary’s intercession that he invites all the faithful to “recite at the end of the Rosary, and that I myself will pray in the month of May, in spiritual union with all of you.”  The first one implores the blessed Mother of Christ to intercede on our behalf that we may “conform ourselves to the will of the Father,” as her Son did in the garden of Gethsemane.  The second prayer asks for her protection from the virus and comfort to all those who are sick from it.

 

FIRST PRAYER

O Mary,

You shine continuously on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope.

We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick, who, at the foot of the cross, were united with Jesus’ suffering, and persevered in your faith.

“Protectress of the Roman people”, you know our needs, and we know that you will provide, so that, as at Cana in Galilee, joy and celebration may return after this time of trial.

Help us, Mother of Divine Love, to conform ourselves to the will of the Father and to do what Jesus tells us.

For he took upon himself our suffering, and burdened himself with our sorrows to bring us, through the cross, to the joy of the Resurrection.

Amen.

 

We fly to your protection, O Holy Mother of God;

Do not despise our petitions in our necessities,

But deliver us always from every danger,

O Glorious and Blessed Virgin.

 

SECOND PRAYER

“We fly to your protection, O Holy Mother of God”.

In the present tragic situation, when the whole world is prey to suffering and anxiety, we fly to you, Mother of God and our Mother, and seek refuge under your protection.

Virgin Mary, turn your merciful eyes towards us amid this coronavirus pandemic.  Comfort those who are distraught and mourn their loved ones who have died, and at times are buried in a way that grieves them deeply.  Be close to those who are concerned for their loved ones who are sick and who, in order to prevent the spread of the disease, cannot be close to them.  Fill with hope those who are troubled by the uncertainty of the future and the consequences for the economy and employment.

Mother of God and our Mother, pray for us to God, the Father of mercies, that this great suffering may end and that hope and peace may dawn anew.  Plead with your divine Son, as you did at Cana, so that the families of the sick and the victims be comforted, and their hearts be opened to confidence and trust.

Protect those doctors, nurses, health workers and volunteers who are on the frontline of this emergency, and are risking their lives to save others.  Support their heroic effort and grant them strength, generosity and continued health.

Be close to those who assist the sick night and day, and to priests who, in their pastoral concern and fidelity to the Gospel, are trying to help and support everyone.

Blessed Virgin, illumine the minds of men and women engaged in scientific research, that they may find effective solutions to overcome this virus.

Support national leaders, that with wisdom, solicitude and generosity they may come to the aid of those lacking the basic necessities of life and may devise social and economic solutions inspired by farsightedness and solidarity.

Mary Most Holy, stir our consciences, so that the enormous funds invested in developing and stockpiling arms will instead be spent on promoting effective research on how to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.

Beloved Mother, help us realise that we are all members of one great family and to recognise the bond that unites us, so that, in a spirit of fraternity and solidarity, we can help to alleviate countless situations of poverty and need.  Make us strong in faith, persevering in service, constant in prayer.

Mary, Consolation of the afflicted, embrace all your children in distress and pray that God will stretch out his all-powerful hand and free us from this terrible pandemic, so that life can serenely resume its normal course.

To you, who shine on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope, do we entrust ourselves, O Clement, O Loving, O Sweet Virgin Mary.

Amen.