By Deborah Castellano Lubov

Pope Francis will lead a rosary “to invoke the aid and help of the Virgin Mary in the pandemic, and to entrust the whole of humanity to the Lord,” at the Lourdes Grotto in the Vatican Gardens, on May 30, as the month of Mary draws to its close.

This was communicated in a statement by the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization and published, today, May 26, 2020, by the Holy See Press Office.

“The Holy Father will put at Mary’s feet the many anxieties and sorrows of humanity, further aggravated by the spread of COVID-19,” the statement underscores.

“The appointment for the end of the Marian month,” it continues, “is a further sign of closeness and consolation for all those that, in different ways, have been affected by the coronavirus, in the certainty that the Heavenly Mother will not disregard the requests for protection.”

The Marian celebration to be broadcast live worldwide was organized by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, and is on the theme: “All with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with Mary (Acts 1:14.)

Shrines worldwide, the dicastery says, will join the prayer, with the special involvement of families.

The largest Shrines of all five continents will be connected. For instance, of Europe: Lourdes, Fatima, San Giovanni Rotondo, Pompeii and Czestochowa (Poland); of the United States of America: the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (Washington, D.C.); of Africa: the Shrine of Elele (Nigeria) and of Notre-Damme de la Paix (Ivory Coast); of Latin America: the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Mexico), of Chiquinquira (Colombia), of Lujan and of Milagro (Argentina).

“It will be a moment of world prayer,” the Vatican explains, “for those that intend to join Pope Francis on the eve of Pentecost Sunday.”

Some women and men, in representation of various categories of people particularly touched by the virus, will recite the decades.

“There will be,” the statement listed, “a doctor and a nurse, for all the health staff committed on the front line in hospitals; a healed person and one who lost a family member, for all those touched personally by the coronavirus; a priest, hospital chaplain, and a Sister nurse, for all priests and consecrated persons close to all those tried by the disease; a pharmacist and a journalist, for all the people that even in the period of the pandemic have continued to carry out their service in favour of others; a volunteer of Civil Protection with his family, for those that have done their utmost to address this emergency and for all the vast world of volunteers; and a young family, to whom a baby was born in this period, sign of hope and of victory of life over death.”

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