coronavirus

Cardinal Gregory to Lead Worldwide Rosary to Pray for an End to the Pandemic 

WASHINGTON D.C. — Today, at noon, Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington will lead up to 1,000 in-person faithful in a worldwide recitation of the rosary in response to Pope Francis’ call for a “marathon” of prayer in May “to ask for the end of the pandemic.”

Washington Cardinal Wilton D. Gregory gives his homily at an Easter Mass April 4, 2021 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. (Photo: CNS/Jaclyn Lippelmann, Catholic Standard)

Today’s rosary event will take place at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Great Upper Church which can accommodate 1,000 people socially distanced. Other safety protocols, such as masks, will also be in place.

[Related: National Shrine to Host May 17 Worldwide Praying of the Rosary]

“During our Marian, we also embrace a host of those whose lives have been restrained by this virus, and of course all those who continue to suffer from poverty, isolation, and fear,” Cardinal Gregory wrote in the Catholic Standard on May 10. 

As part of the rosary marathon, every day through the end of May at noon the rosary is prayed from a different Marian shrine around the world. Pope Francis started the marathon on May 1 from St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican and will close the month by leading the prayer in the Vatican Gardens on May 31. 

“At the beginning of the month dedicated to Our Lady, we join in prayer with all the shrines around the world, the faithful, and all people of goodwill to entrust to our Holy Mother of all humanity so harshly tried by this Pandemic,” Pope Francis said while initiating the rosary marathon on May 1. 

The Washington Basilica announced on May 7 that it was chosen by the Holy See to lead today’s rosary. 

“It is an honor for us to participate in this important initiative of the Holy Father as he invites the world to offer this great Marian prayer,” said Msgr. Walter Rossi, Rector of the Basilica. 

“It is my hope that, through this monthlong worldwide praying of the rosary, Our Blessed Mother will look favorably upon our pleas and present our great need before her Son, asking God, through her intercession, to bring an end to the pandemic and return our world to a form of normalcy.” 

As first reported by Catholic News Service, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States, said in a letter to Cardinal Gregory this month is “dedicated in a special way to prayer for an end to the coronavirus pandemic.” 

Some of the other participating Marian shrines that have or will participate in the rosary marathon are located in England, Nigeria, Israel, South Korea, Turkey, Canada, Myanmar, Mexico, Germany, and Lebanon. 

Each participant will pray the rosary for a specific prayer intention. Today’s is for “all world leaders and for all heads of international organizations.” 

Yesterday’s, at St. Mary’s Cathedral Sydney, Australia, was for “all victims of violence and human trafficking.” And tomorrow’s, at Our Lady of Lourdes in France, is for “all doctors and nurses.” 

NET-TV will be airing the rosary from the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, live at 12 p.m. To watch NET-TV stream the rosary live, click HERE.

  • The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington is seen in Washington. The worldwide rosary was broadcasted from inside the Upper Church, May 17. (Photo: CNS/Tyler Orsburn)
  • A woman prays the rosary at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington May 17, 2021. The rosary, led by Washington Cardinal Wilton D. Gregory, was part of a worldwide effort called by Pope Francis to pray for an end to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photos: CNS/Andrew Biraj, Catholic Standard)
  • People pray the rosary at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington May 17, 2021. The rosary, led by Washington Cardinal Wilton D. Gregory, was part of a worldwide effort called by Pope Francis to pray for an end to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • A woman holds a rosary at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington May 17, 2021. The rosary, led by Washington Cardinal Wilton D. Gregory, was part of a worldwide effort called by Pope Francis to pray for an end to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • People pray the rosary at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington May 17, 2021. The rosary, led by Washington Cardinal Wilton D. Gregory, was part of a worldwide effort called by Pope Francis to pray for an end to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • A man prays the rosary at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington May 17, 2021. The rosary, led by Washington Cardinal Wilton D. Gregory, was part of a worldwide effort called by Pope Francis to pray for an end to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • As part of Pope Francis' rosary marathon, every day through the end of May at noon, the rosary is prayed from a different Marian shrine around the world. On May 17, Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington led the rosary at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Great Upper Church. (Photos: John Lavenburg)
  • A couple kneels before the Blessed Virgin statue inside the Washington Basilica, May 17.

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