Pope Francis will lead a worldwide “act of prayer” to implore the intercession and protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary amid the new coronavirus pandemic.
The Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization announced that the pope will lead the major shrines around the world in praying the rosary.
“The Holy Father will place the many cares and sorrows of humanity, further aggravated by the spread of COVID-19, at the feet of Mary,” read a statement from the council.
Pope Francis will be praying before the replica of the Lourdes Grotto in the Vatican Gardens on May 30, eve of Pentecost.
The “Rosary with Pope Francis” aims to unite people around the world in prayer “to invoke the help and assistance of Our Lady in the pandemic, and to entrust the whole of humanity to the Lord.”
Individuals representing “various categories of people particularly affected by the virus” will join the pontiff in the prayer that will be broadcast live on at 5:30 p.m. in Rome.
Among those who will be praying with Pope Francis is a person who has been cured of the disease and one who has lost a family member.
A priest, a hospital chaplain, and a nun will also be present to represent “all the priests and consecrated persons close to those affected by the disease.”
Frontline workers, “who represent all those who, even during the period of the pandemic, have continued to serve for others,” including a doctor, a nurse, a pharmacist, and a journalist will take part in the prayer.
On behalf of all those who are “working to deal with this emergency and the vast world of volunteerism,” a civil defense volunteer and his family will be joining.
A young family with a child born during the pandemic will also take part and stand as witness that there is “hope and of the victory of life over death.”
The global prayer of the rosary coincides with the end of the celebration of the Marian month of May.
The council said it is “a further sign of closeness and comfort for those who, in various ways, have been affected by the coronavirus, in the certainty that the Heavenly Mother does not neglect our requests for protection.”
At least 12 major shrines in Europe, Poland, the United States, Africa, and Latin America “will be connected” and accompany the pope in praying the Holy Rosary.
As of May 26, the new coronavirus disease has infected about 5.6 million people in more than 120 countries and territories. It has already killed at least 349,894 people since December last year.