At 5:30 pm on May 30, 2020, Vigil of Pentecost Sunday, Pope Francis presided over the recitation of the Rosary from the Lourdes Grotto in the Vatican Gardens, imploring the Virgin for the health of all humanity.
On his arrival at the Grotto, in the presence of the faithful, the Holy Father, who was accompanied by Monsignor Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, placed flowers in front of the Image of Our Lady of Lourdes and prayed to Her.
Before beginning the Rosary, transmitted by Zenit, the Pontiff addressed a prayer to the Virgin. Marian Shrines worldwide joined Pope Francis electronically in this moment of prayer.
Prayer of the Mysteries
The prayer of the Sorrowful Mysteries was led by a total of 14 persons, representing groups involved in the COVID-19 health emergency.
The first Mystery was offered for doctors, nurses, and all the medical staff, and enunciated by Giuseppe Culla, lung specialist and nurse Giulia Pintus.
Maurizio Fiorda, a Civil Protection volunteer, his wife, and daughter, together with Giovanni De Cerce, coronavirus survivor, led the second Mystery, which was prayed for the army, the police, firemen and all volunteers.
The third Mystery, which remembered priests and consecrated persons that have taken the Sacraments and words of consolation to the sick and those that lost their lives at the service of their community, was led by Father Gerardo Rodriguez Hernandez, a hospital chaplain, and Zelia Andrighetti, Superior General of the Daughters of Saint Camillus, community massively infected by the virus.
The fourth mystery, offered for the dying, the dead, and all families that suffered the loss of a dear one, was pronounced by Francesco Scarpino, pharmacist, and Tea Pompeo, who lost her mother due to the virus.
Journalist Vania De Luca and the Bartoli Family, which had a baby during the pandemic, led the last Mystery. Thus prayer was offered for those in need of support in faith and hope, for the unemployed, for those that are alone, and for children born in the COVID-19 times.
Invocation to the Virgin
At the end of the Rosary, Pope Francis prayed the second prayer to the Virgin, which he himself wrote in his Letter for the month of May, dedicated to the Virgin, which began with the words: “We fly to your protection, O Holy Mother of God.”
Finally, the Holy Father imparted his Blessing and addressed, in particular, the Shrines of Latin America connected with this moment of prayer. “To all of you in the Shrines of Latin America, I see Guadalupe and so many others, which are connected with us, united in prayer I greet you in my maternal tongue. Thank you for being close to all of us. May our Mother of Guadalupe accompany us.”
Shrines Around the World
Among the numerous Shrines that accompanied the Pontiff in this ceremony were those of Europe: Lourdes, Fatima, Saint Rita of Cascia, Pompeii, and Czestochowa; and of the United States: the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (Washington, D.C.).
In Africa, the Shrine of Elele (Nigeria) and Notre-Dame de la Paix (Ivory Coast); and in Latin America: the Shrines of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Mexico), Chiquinquira (Colombia), and Lujan and Milagro (Argentina).