This afternoon Francis led the recitation of the final Rosary of a month-long prayer marathon. He hopes that “everyone, without exception, may soon be given the opportunity to be protected by the vaccine.”
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – “Mary, come to our aid,” said Pope Francis this afternoon during the recitation of the Holy Rosary in the Vatican Gardens, which marked the end of a prayer marathon titled “Prayer by the church was fervently being made to God” (Act 12:5).
Francis had launched the prayer marathon at Our Lady of Succour (Help), in the Gregorian Chapel of the Vatican Basilica, in order to invoke the end of the ongoing pandemic.
Tonight he said: “Let us continue to ask the Lord to protect the whole world from the pandemic and that everyone, without exception, may soon be given the opportunity to be protected by the vaccine.”
The Pope, who thanked 30 shrines for taking part in the prayer, said that he had seen “so much participation of the people of God”.
Some 300 people were present in the Vatican Gardens. The Rosary began with the procession of the icon of the Virgin Mary, “undoer of knots”, from Augsburg, led by the local bishop, Bertram Johannes Meier, accompanied by a Scout group, some families, some religious and children who received the first communion at Santa Maria della Grotticella, Viterbo (Italy), the first parish in Italy to have offered its premises for the administration of the vaccine against the coronavirus.
In the prayer, the pontiff urged Mary to “undo the knots that oppress us materially and spiritually”. Some young people from Azione Cattolica took turns praying, along with some newlyweds, expectant couples, and a family of deaf people in which a religious vocation was born.
The pontiff entrusted five intentions of prayer to the Virgin, five “knots” that must be undone to nurture hope in humanity.
The first knot is that of wounded relationality, loneliness and indifference, which have become deeper at this time.
The second knot is unemployment, especially among youth, women, family men, and those trying to protect their employees and restart work.
The third knot is violence, particularly domestic violence against women and the violence sparked by social tensions related to the uncertainty of the crisis.
The fourth knot refers to human progress, which scientific research is called upon to support, with discoveries shared and accessible to all, so that “even in the healthcare, economic logic stops and everyone is helped, especially the poor and the weakest”.
The fifth knot is that of pastoral outreach to undo the knot that prevents “our communities from going back to their [regular] pastoral, sacramental and charitable life.”
At the end of the prayer, Francis crowned the image, a copy of the one in Augsburg that was given to him.