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Covid-19: Pope offers prayer to Virgin Mary for protection

Pope Francis composes a prayer to Our Lady, Health of the Sick, to implore her protection during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

By Devin Watkins

The Pope offered a prayer to the Virgin Mary on Wednesday afternoon, in a video message to mark the Diocese of Rome’s day of prayer and fasting for the coronavirus emergency.

The video was broadcast at the opening of a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, the diocesan vicar, at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Divine Love near Rome.

Matteo Bruni, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, said Tuesday that the Pope wanted to entrust the city of Rome, all of Italy, and “the entire world to the protection of the Mother of God, as a sign of salvation and hope” during the ongoing coronavirus emergency.

Steadfast in faith

In his prayer, Pope Francis calls Mary “Health of the Sick”, adding that she kept her faith firm as she stood near the Cross as Jesus suffered.

"You, Salvation of the Roman People, know what we need. We are certain that you will provide, so that, as you did at Cana of Galilee, joy and feasting might return after this moment of trial."

The Pope also said we seek refuge under Our Lady’s protection, knowing that she will help us “conform ourselves to the Father's will”.

Historical precedents

The choice to celebrate Wednesday’s Mass at the Divine Love Sanctuary holds significant historical value.

Pope Pius XII went to pray there before the statue of Our Lady in June 1944.

He pleaded for the salvation of the city of Rome as Nazi troops withdrew from Italy during World War II.

Now, over 75 years later, Pope Francis has asked the Virgin Mary to watch over the world in this current moment of crisis.

An English-language translation of the Pope’s prayer is below:

O Mary, you shine continuously on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope.

We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick.

At the foot of the Cross you participated in Jesus’ pain,

with steadfast faith.

You, Salvation of the Roman People, know what we need.

We are certain that you will provide, so that,

as you did at Cana of Galilee,

joy and feasting might return after this moment of trial.

Help us, Mother of Divine Love,

to conform ourselves to the Father’s will

and to do what Jesus tells us:

He who took our sufferings upon Himself, and bore our sorrows to bring us,

through the Cross, to the joy of the Resurrection. Amen.

We seek refuge under your protection, O Holy Mother of God.

Do not despise our pleas – we who are put to the test – and deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.

11 March 2020, 19:08