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