ROME — Pope Francis has called for a month-long prayer marathon to ask God for a swift end to the coronavirus pandemic, the Vatican announced Wednesday.
By wish of the Holy Father, “the month of May will be dedicated to a prayer marathon with the theme ‘Prayer to God rose incessantly from the whole Church (Acts 12:5),’” reads a Vatican communiqué sent to Breitbart News.
“The initiative will involve in a special way all the shrines of the world so that they will promote the recitation of the rosary among the faithful, families, and communities to invoke the end of the pandemic,” states the Italian-language text sent by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization.
“Thirty representative shrines, scattered all over the world, will lead the Marian prayer, which will be broadcast live on the official channels of the Holy See at 6:00pm (Rome time) every day,” it declares.
“Pope Francis will open this great prayer on May 1 and conclude it on May 31,” the text states.
During his weekly General Audience in the Vatican Wednesday, the pope underscored the importance of vocal prayer in the Christian tradition.
“The first human prayer is always a vocal recitation,” he said. “The lips always move first. Although we are all aware that praying does not mean repeating words, vocal prayer is nevertheless the surest, and can always be practised.”
“Therefore, we must not disregard vocal prayer,” the pontiff continued. “One might say, ‘Ah, this is for children, for ignorant folk; I am seeking mental prayer, meditation, the inner void so that God might come to me…’”
“Please! Do not succumb to the pride of scorning vocal prayer,” he said. “It is the prayer of the simple, the prayer that Jesus taught: Our Father, who is in heaven.”
“Jesus did not leave us in a fog. He told us: ‘Pray then like this.’ And he taught the Lord’s Prayer,” he concluded.