By Linda Bordoni
Greeting Polish pilgrims at the General Audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis recalled the 40th anniversary tomorrow of the assassination attempt on Pope Saint John Paul II.
“He was certain that he owed his life to Our Lady of Fatima,” he said, noting that “that this makes us aware that our lives and the history of the world are in God’s hands.”
Pope John Paul II was shot and seriously wounded as he passed through St Peter’s Square in an open car during the General Audience on Wednesday, 13 May 1981, on the liturgical feast of Our Lady of Fatima.
“Let’s entrust the Church, ourselves and the whole world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Let’s pray for peace, for the end of the pandemic, for a spirit of penitence and for our conversion,” the Pope said.
And recalling tomorrow’s feast day dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima, he said: “Let us place ourselves with trust under Her maternal protection, especially when we find ourselves in difficulty during our prayer life.”
The recitation of the Rosary for the end of the pandemic
After his catechesis, Pope Francis also encouraged the faithful to engage in the recitation of the Holy Rosary during this month of May to invoke the end of the pandemic and the possibility to start social and work activities again, inviting believers to be “guided by Shrines across the world.”
He was referring to an initiative promoted by the Holy See in response to Pope Francis’ call for a “marathon” of prayer during the month of May “to ask for the end of the pandemic” that sees a different Marian shrine across the globe leading the recitation of the Rosary every evening.
Today the Rosary will be broadcast from the Basilica of Our Lady of Africa in Algiers, with the intention: "For all those who live alone and those who have lost hope."