In a special edition of ‘The Pope Video’, an initiative of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, Pope Francis invites us to pray for the sick and the suffering. Speaking on 11th March, the Pope offered his thanks to all those who pray at this difficult moment, regardless of their religious tradition or convictions.
Let us all pray together for the sick, for the people who are suffering.
We seek refuge under your protection, O Holy Mother of God.
Do not despise our pleas – we who are put to the test – and deliver us from every danger.
O glorious and blessed Virgin.
I thank all Christians, all the men and women of good will who pray at this moment, in unison, whichever religious tradition they belong to.
On the Third Sunday of Lent, Pope Francis prayed before the icon of the Salus Populi Romani to emphasise his closeness to those who suffer and to implore the special protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Later the same day, the Pope made a pilgrimage to the site of the crucifix that was carried in procession to end the plague in Rome in 1522. Here he prayed for an end to the pandemic that is striking the world.
Pope Francis and the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network have dedicated this week as a special week of prayer for the pandemic to end. Pope Francis invites people to mobilise this week: 'To the pandemic of the virus we want to respond with the universality of prayer, of compassion, of tenderness.' The collection of events this week include:
- The release of the special edition of ‘The Pope Video’ on 24th March.
- On 25th March, the day on which we remember the announcement to the Virgin Mary of the birth of the Lord, Pope Francis invites ‘all the Heads of Churches and the leaders of all Christian communities, together with all Christians of the various confessions, to invoke the Most High and Almighty God’ and to pray the Our Father at noon.
- On 27th March, the Pope will lead a time of prayer and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, at the end of which he will give ‘the Urbi et Orbi blessing’ with the ‘possibility of receiving a plenary indulgence’.
The National Director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network for England and Wales, Fr David Stewart SJ reflected on the Pope’s invitation: ‘All people of good will can respond to this appeal from Pope Francis, for this shared prayer will increase our solidarity and care for each other, and draw out of us a compassion and tenderness, as the Pope says, that will save many lives and heal the world.’
The invitation to prayer can be followed under the hashtag #PrayForTheWorld. To pray with Pope Francis you can access his official prayer profile on the Click To Pray platform (website, app and social networks).