Pope Francis has called on the faithful to pray the rosary, especially during the month of May, for an end to the global health crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
In the Catholic Church, the month of May is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the faithful usually pray the Rosary with the family at home during the month.
The pontiff, however, noted that the restrictions brought about by the pandemic “have made us come to appreciate all the more this ‘family’ aspect, also from a spiritual point of view.”
In a Letter for the Month of May released on April 25, Pope Francis urged that faithful to “rediscover the beauty of praying the rosary at home,” whether individually or as a group.
“The key to doing this is always simplicity, and it is easy also on the internet to find good models of prayers to follow,” he said.
Pope Francis has written two new prayers to the Blessed Virgin Mary, which he said can be recited at the end of the rosary.
In his letter, he assured the faithful that he too will be reciting those prayers throughout the month of May “in spiritual union with all of you.”
“Contemplating the face of Christ with the heart of Mary our Mother will make us even more united as a spiritual family and will help us overcome this time of trial,” he said.
The pope’s new prayers acknowledge the closeness of the Blessed Virgin Mary to her son’s followers and ask for her protection and for her intercession.
“We know that you will provide, so that, as at Cana in Galilee, joy and celebration may return after this time of trial,” read one of the prayers.
Included in the prayers are specific intentions for the sick, for health workers and caregivers, for those who have died and those who mourn, for scientists seeking cures and vaccines, and for government leaders who must find a way to protect their people.
“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,” read one of the prayers.
It also appealed to the Blessed Virgin Mary to help people realize “that we are all members of one great family and to recognize 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.”