Ireland’s national Marian shrine will join Pope Francis in praying the Rosary to implore Our Lady’s intercession and protection during the current coronavirus crisis today, the eve of Pentecost.
Fr Richard Gibbons will say the Rosary at the Apparition Chapel in Knock, which will be streamed live on www.knockshrine.ie at 4.30pm.
The Pope will be praying live from the replica of the Lourdes Grotto in the Vatican Gardens.
Joining him in Rome will be “men and women representing various categories of people particularly affected by the virus”, including a doctor and a nurse, a recovered patient and a person who lost a family member to Covid-19.
Archbishop Rino Fisichella, the head of the Vatican’s Council for New Evangelisation, sent a letter earlier this month to the rector of shrines around the world, in which he asked them to join in the initiative by praying the rosary at the same time.
“At the feet of Mary, the Holy Father will place the many troubles and sorrows of humanity, further worsened by the spread of Covid-19,” said a statement released by the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation.
According to the statement, the prayer, which coincides with the end of the Marian month of May, “is another sign of closeness and consolation for those who, in different ways, have been struck by the coronavirus, in the certainty that the Heavenly Mother will not disregard the requests for protection”.
The hashtag people are being encouraged to use on social media is #wepraytogether
Some of the other shrines involved include: the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, in Mexico; Fatima in Portugal; Lourdes in France; the National Pilgrimage Centre Elele in Nigeria; Częstochowa in Poland; the National Shrine in the United States; the Shrine Of Our Lady Of Walsingham in England; several Italian shrines, including that of Our Lady of Pompei, Loretto, Church of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina; the Oratory of St. Joseph in Canada; Notre Dame de la Paix in Ivory Coast; the Shrines of Our Lady of Lujan and of the Miracle, in Argentina; Aparecida in Brazil; the Shrine of Our Lady of Covadonga in Spain; the National Shrine of Our Lady Ta’Pinu in Malta and the Basilica of the Annunciation, in Israel.