By Linda Bordoni
Pope Francis on Sunday invited believers to say a special prayer for strife-ridden Myanmar every day during this Marian month of May during the recitation of the daily rosary.
Speaking after the recitation of the Regina Coeli prayer, he recalled that a “Prayer Marathon” for the end of the pandemic has just begun, with Marian Shrines across the world participating with the live-streaming of the rosary every day, the Pope said that within this context there is an initiative that is particularly close to his heart: that of the Burmese Church that invites us to pray for peace in the country.
His appeal comes as Myanmar's security forces reportedly opened fire on some of the biggest protests against military rule in days, killing at least five people. The nation has been plunged into crisis since a military coup on 1 February, since when security forces have allegedly killed at least 759 protesters and detained thousands.
“Each of us turns to our mother in times of need and of difficulty,” the Pope said, “During this month we ask our Heavenly Mother to speak to the hearts of all those who have responsibility in Myanmar so they may find the courage to walk the path of encounter, of reconciliation and of peace.”
Since violence erupted in Myanmar after the coup and military crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, Pope Francis has repeatedly called on the nation's leaders to engage in dialogue and prayed for reconciliation.