The following is the full text of a comuniqué released on Saturday by the Holy See's Press Office regarding an invitation extended by Pope Francis to all the faithful to join in praying the Rosary during the month of October:
Pope Francis' invitation
The Holy Father has decided to invite all the faithful, of all the world, to pray the Holy Rosary every day, during the entire Marian month of October, and thus to join in communion and in penitence, as the people of God, in asking the Holy Mother of God and Saint Michael Archangel to protect the Church from the devil, who always seeks to separate us from God and from each other.
In recent days, before his departure for the Baltic States, the Holy Father met with Fr. Fréderic Fornos, S.J., international director of the World Network of Prayer for the Pope, and asked him to spread this appeal to all the faithful throughout the world, inviting them to conclude the recitation of the Rosary with the ancient invocation “Sub Tuum Praesidium”, and with the prayer to Saint Michael Archangel that he protect us and help us in the struggle against evil (cf. Revelation 12, 7-12).
The prayer – the Pontiff affirmed a few days ago, on 11 September, in a homily at Santa Marta, citing the first book of Job – is the weapon against the Great Accuser who “goes around the world seeking to accuse”. Only prayer can defeat him. The Russian mystics and the great saints of all the traditions advised, in moments of spiritual turbulence, to shelter beneath the mantle of the Holy Mother of God pronouncing the invocation “Sub Tuum Praesidium”.
Sub Tuum Praesidium
The invocation “Sub Tuum Praesidium” is recited as follows:
“Sub tuum praesidium confugimus Sancta Dei Genitrix. Nostras deprecationes ne despicias in necessitatibus, sed a periculis cunctis libera nos semper, Virgo Gloriosa et Benedicta”.
[We fly to thy protection, O Holy Mother of God. Do not despise our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O Glorious and Blessed Virgin].
With this request for intercession the Holy Father asks the faithful of all the world to pray that the Holy Mother of God place the Church beneath her protective mantle: to preserve her from the attachks by the devil, the great accuser, and at the same time to make her more aware of the faults, the errors and the abuses committed in the present and in the past, and committed to combating without any hesitation, so that evil may not prevail.
Prayer to Saint Michael
The Holy Father has also asked that the recitation of the Holy Rosary during the month of October conclude with the prayer written by Leo XIII:
“Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in proelio; contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium. Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur: tuque, Princeps militiae caelestis, Satanam aliosque spiritus malignos, qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo, divina virtute, in infernum detrude. Amen”.
[Saint Michael Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil; may God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen].