Today on the Feast of Saint Joseph Pope Francis has invited people of all faiths to pray with him at 4 pm EST (3 pm in my Alabama campground). He’ll be praying for the protection and health of all, especially the sick and people taking care of them who risk their lives in seeking to protect and heal those afflicted with coronavirus or any other illness. The prayer is the Rosary, normally prayed on prayer beads. You can use your fingers if you don’t have a Rosary. The beads are to keep track of the spoken prayers that form a calming background to internal contemplation of a Mystery.
The Rosary prayer centers around aspects of the life of Jesus called Mysteries. I’ve included links you may find helpful. We start to pray a Rosary by expressing intentions for which the prayer is offered. Introductory prayers include the Apostle’s Creed, the Our Father, three Hail Marys for faith, hope, and charity, and a Glory Be. Then, we pray a set of five Mysteries, each tied to Scripture, during which we silently contemplate some aspect of the Mystery while saying out loud an Our Father, ten Hail Marys, and a Glory Be. The set of Mysteries concludes with a Hail Holy Queen prayer that asks Mary to pray for us and help us come close to Jesus. When praying in a group, one or more persons lead the prayers, introducing each Mystery and praying the first lines of a prayer while others respond with the remaining lines. Today the Pope will lead millions of people in praying the Luminous Mysteries, also called Mysteries of Light. These are:
- Baptism of the Lord
- Wedding Feast of Cana
- Proclamation of the Kingdom
- Transfiguration of the Lord
- Institution of the Eucharist
Throughout history, the Rosary has been prayed for protection and healing in times of distress. IF you’d like to participate via livestream, here are some links: from Los Angeles with Archbishop Gomez; from Vatican Media Live; from the Catholic Information Center in DC; from New Jersey with the Dominican Sisters and others to be added later today.
If you’d like a set of Rosary beads, I’ve got quite a few to give away to anyone who’d like one. They were made by cloistered nuns, the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration who live and pray at Our Lady of the Holy Angels Monastery at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, AL. All the Rosaries were blessed by a priest.
I’ll be praying for you and your intentions and hope you can join in this powerful prayer with millions around the world.