The month of May is Mary's month. Pope Francis reminds us of the importance of this month of Mary, especially as we seek Mary's intercession and protection during the coronavirus pandemic. You can read his letter at www.vatican.va, in which the Holy Father calls families to pray the rosary at home, and in which he gives us two additional closing prayers for the rosary, one of which is included here.
I hope that this time of sheltering in place and social distancing has been an opportunity for families to pray together. As I wrote last week, it is heartbreaking that many families and children have had to postpone their celebrations of First Communion, as well as weddings, baptisms and funeral masses. TO THE CHILDREN WHO WERE TO RECEIVE FIRST COMMUNION THIS WEEKEND: you will receive Jesus in Holy Communion soon - I'm sorry you have to wait, but we will celebrate with you when we can come back to church safely!
I hope that when that happens many, many people will fill our churches, having hungered for the Lord, having experienced the absence of the Eucharist, and yearning to gather as the People of God as we should.
May Mary, the Mother of God and our Mother, watch over us during this difficult time, and may we come back soon to church, rejoicing in the Resurrection of Jesus!
Here is the first of two prayers Pope Francis has given us to conclude the rosary:
You shine continuously on our journey
as a sign of salvation and hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who, at the foot of the cross,
were united with Jesus’ suffering,
and persevered in your faith.
“Protectress of the Roman people”,
you know our needs,
and we know that you will provide,
so that, as at Cana in Galilee,
joy and celebration may return
after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform ourselves to the will of the Father
and to do what Jesus tells us.
For he took upon himself our suffering,
and burdened himself with our sorrows
to bring us, through the cross,
to the joy of the Resurrection.
We fly to your protection,
O Holy Mother of God;
Do not despise our petitions
in our necessities,
but deliver us always
from every danger,
O Glorious and Blessed Virgin.