In early 2019, a pandemic hit hard all parts of the world with every country suffering from the deadly virus which developed various strains resistant to some vaccines.
People from all walks of life have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. It badly affected public health causing economic and social disruption that threatened the long-term livelihoods and well-being of millions. Millions of people fell ill, others passed away, will others became unemployed and lost any hope in a better future.
COVID-19, which targeted the rich and the poor equally, disrupted life leaving little chance at the moment to restore the status quo ante. Scientists worked day and night to manufacture suitable vaccines that would curtail the spread of the pandemic. Despite their thaumaturgic skills, the danger is still inherent.
In reaction to the dangers lurking in the offing, and with regards to the health risk and the ramification of the rising unemployment globally, His Holiness Pope Francis on Thursday, April 22, invited Catholics and Marian Shrines around the world to dedicate the month of May to a marathon of prayer for an end to the Covid-19 pandemic.
During his General Audience on Wednesday, April 21, Pope Francis said thatvocal prayer is a sure way to speak with God. He added, “For human beings prayer becomes word, invocation, hymn, poetry. The divine Word is made flesh, and in the flesh of every person the word returns to God in prayer.” This initiative takes the theme “The whole Church was fervently praying to God”, which recalls a verse in the Book of Acts (12:5)
“The initiative will involve 30 Marian shrines from various parts of the world. This will encourage the faithful, families, and communities to recite the Rosary to pray for an end to the pandemic.
With Pope Francis opening the Marian month of prayer on May 1 with a Rosary broadcast across Vatican Media’s platforms--which will be recited at 6:00pm Rome time from the various Shines taking part in the initiative--the Pope will also close the initiative on May 31 with another specially-broadcast Rosary.
Blessed Mary never fails the faithful who sincerely seek Her help. She is the bright light in bleak nights that takes by hand the faithful to the shores of safety. Faith and prayer is the last resort for the elimination of all mundane problems, foremost of which being the corona pandemic.
This is reminiscent of the incident when Lord Jesus got into a boat with his disciples and suddenly a fierce storm hit the lake which was in danger of sinking. The disciples were afraid and said, “Save us, Lord! We are about to die!” Jesus said, “Why are you so frightened?” “How little faith you have!”
Faith in Lord Jesus and in the loving care of blessed Mary will definitely curtail the effect of the pandemic and help restore normalcy.
Blessed Mother Teresa said, "If you ever feel distressed during your day, call upon our Lady, just say this simple prayer: 'Mary, Mother of Jesus, please be a mother to me now.' I must admit, this prayer has never failed me."
On this day,we pray to blessed Mary saying,
O Most beautiful Flower of Mt. Carmel, Fruitful Vine, Splendor of Heaven, Blessed Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me in this my necessity. O Star of the Sea, help me and show me herein you are my mother.
O Holy Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and Earth, I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart to succor me in this necessity. There are none that can withstand your power.
O show me herein you are my mother. O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
Sweet Mother, I place this cause in your hands.