In another initiative to call for an end to the pandemic and to remember the deceased and those who have been in the forefront against the virus, Francis prayed the rosary before the Lourdes grotto represented in the Vatican Gardens and in Internet connection with some 50 Marian shrines of all the world.
The pope prayed the silence the rosary in front of the place in the Vatican gardens where an identical copy of the grotto of the appearance of the sanctuary of Lourdes, in France, was made in a ceremony attended by a hundred people, all with masks and one meter apart.
Connected over the Internet, as could be seen on the screens placed in this space in the Vatican gardens, some 50 Marian shrines from around the world followed the prayer.
Among them that of our Lady of Covadonga, in Spain; that of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Remedy and San Juan de los Lagos in Mexico; from Chiquinquirá, in Colombia, from Lujan y los Milagros, in Argentina and Maipú in Chile.
Francisco wanted to thank in Spanish the presence of the sanctuaries of Latin America and that they have been “united in prayer” and “for being close” and asked that “Our Mother of Guadalupe be with us”.
It was a new initiative by Francisco to ask for the intercession of the Virgin Mary in the face of a pandemic that has caused almost 6 million infected people and more than 360,000 deaths worldwide and that is causing a serious economic crisis.
They followed the rosary from the Czestochowa shrine in Poland; that of Fatima, in Portugal; the sanctuary of the Immaculate Conception in Washington or that of Elele in Nigeria.
During the ceremony, the pope gave the two prayers he wrote to the Virgin at this time of the pandemic and in which he asked: “Under your protection we seek refuge, Holy Mother of God. Do not despise the supplications of those of us who are on trial, and deliver us from all danger, glorious and blessed Virgin. “
The pope begged for Mary to support “the anguished people, to instill confidence in those who live in anxiety for the future” and for “this trial to end and a horizon of hope and peace to return.”
He also prayed to Mary to “enlighten the minds of men and women of science so that they find a remedy for the disease,” and prayed for “the leaders of the nations, to act with wisdom, solicitude and generosity.”
And he asked Our Lady to “touch consciences so that the enormous sums dedicated to increasing and perfecting armaments are dedicated to promoting studies to prevent similar catastrophes in the future”, and to “grow in the world the sense of belonging to a only great human family. “
The dozens of the rosary were recited by the men and women representing the various categories affected by the virus: a doctor and a nurse, representing the health care personnel; one person cured of the virus and another who has lost a family member; a chaplain and a nun, in memory of the priests and consecrated persons close to the sick; a pharmacist and a journalist to highlight those who have continued to perform their valuable service to others; a Civil Protection volunteer and a couple with their son who was born at this time, to remember all the children who came into the world at this time.