The Holy Father has called the world’s Christians to pray together at noon on the Feast of the Annunciation, March 25th. ““In these days of trial, as humanity trembles at the threat of the [coronavirus] pandemic, I would propose that all Christians join their voices together to Heaven,” he said. “We wish to respond to the pandemic of the virus with the universality of prayer, of compassion and tenderness.” He encouraged everyone: “Let us remain united. Let us make our closeness felt to those who are alone and to those who are most stricken.” Francis mentioned doctors, nurses, and other health workers, government authorities, the police and soldiers. “Let us be close to everyone.”
Here are eight prayers the Holy Father and others have created to pray for the world during the pandemic.
Prayer to Mary by Pope Francis
O Mary, you always shine on our path as a sign of salvation and of hope. We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick, who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain, keeping your faith firm. You, Salvation of the Roman People, know what we need, and we are sure you will provide so that, as in Cana of Galilee, we may return to joy and to feasting after this time of trial. Help us, Mother of Divine Love, to conform to the will of the Father and to do as we are told by Jesus, who has taken upon himself our sufferings and carried our sorrows to lead us, through the cross, to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.
Under your protection, we seek refuge, Holy Mother of God. Do not disdain the entreaties of we who are in trial, but deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.
— Pope Francis
To Our Lady of Guadalupe For Protection and Healing
Holy Virgin of Guadalupe, Queen of the Angels and Mother of the Americas. We fly to you today as your beloved children. We ask you to intercede for us with your Son, as you did at the wedding in Cana. Pray for us, loving Mother, and gain for our nation and world, and for all our families and loved ones, the protection of your holy angels, that we may be spared the worst of this illness. For those already afflicted, we ask you to obtain the grace of healing and deliverance. Hear the cries of those who are vulnerable and fearful, wipe away their tears and help them to trust.
In this time of trial and testing, teach all of us in the Church to love one another and to be patient and kind. Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our land and to our hearts. We come to you with confidence, knowing that you truly are our compassionate mother, health of the sick and cause of our joy. Shelter us under the mantle of your protection, keep us in the embrace of your arms, help us always to know the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
— The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
For Those Sick With the Virus
Merciful God, hear our fervent prayer for all who suffer from the coronavirus. May those who are infected receive the proper treatment and the comfort of your healing presence. May their caregivers, families and neighbors be shielded from the onslaught of the virus. Give solace to those who grieve the loss of loved ones. Protect and guide those who strive to find a cure, that their work may conquer the disease and restore communities to wholeness and health. Help us to rise above fear. We ask all this through the intercession of Our Lady of Lourdes, and in the name of your Son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.
— Catholic Health Association
For Everyone, Healthy and Sick
God our Father, Creator of the world, almighty and merciful, out of love for us You sent your Son into the world as the doctor of our souls and our bodies, look upon your children who, in this difficult time of confusion and dismay in many regions of Europe and the world, turn to you seeking strength, salvation and relief, deliver us from illness and fear, heal our sick, comfort their families, give wisdom to our rulers, energy and reward to our doctors, nurses and volunteers, eternal life to the dead. Do not abandon us in the moment of trial but deliver us from all evil.
— The European bishops’ conferences
For Everyone, a Prayer of Solidarity
For all who have contracted coronavirus, we pray for care and healing. For those who are particularly vulnerable, we pray for safety and protection. For all who experience fear or anxiety, we pray for peace of mind and spirit. For affected families who are facing difficult decisions between food on the table or public safety, we pray for policies that recognize their plight. For those who do not have adequate health insurance, we pray that no family will face financial burdens alone. For those who are afraid to access care due to immigration status, we pray for recognition of the God-given dignity of all. For our brothers and sisters around the world, we pray for shared solidarity. For public officials and decisionmakers,w e pray for wisdom and guidance. Father, during this time may your Church be a sign of hope, comfort and love to all. Grant peace. Grant comfort. Grant healing. Be with us, Lord. Amen.
— The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
For Healthcare Workers
Loving God, we place into your care all our doctors, nurses and healthcare workers. Give them courage of heart and strength of mind and body. Keep them safe from harm. May they know our deep gratitude for all they are doing to heal and help those affected by the coronavirus. God of all consolation may they know your protection and peace. Bless them in these challenging days and bless their families. Amen.
— The Irish bishops’ conference
Eternal God, Be with our priests this day as they seek to minister to your people. May you be a guiding and protective presence with them as they bring the consolation and hope of Your word and the grace and nourishment of Eucharist to those entrusted into their care. Grant them the strength of mind and body, keep them safe to do your will, and give them the courage and peace to face each day with trust and confidence in You. Into your hands O God, we commend them; fill them with your grace and healing. Amen.
— The Irish bishops’ conferences
Novena Prayer For an End to the Pandemic
O Mary, full of grace, Patroness of this nation and Mother of the Church, in this time of illness and worldwide need we seek your intercession for the human family before your Son’s throne of grace and mercy. We ask for strength in adversity, health in weakness, and comfort in sorrow. Help us, O Blessed Mother, to be filled with confidence and trust in the tender compassion of our God. Let us not be afraid, like our own Saint Marianne Cope, who entrusted her life and ministry among the outcasts of society into the care of our Divine Physician. Continue to watch over all who are sick as well as those who care for them and give wisdom to all who are seeking a cure. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
— Diocese of Syracuse
The originals can be found at the Catholic News Service; the USCCB; the Irish Bishops Conference; the Catholic Health Association; and the diocese of Syracuse. The picture is a detail from Léon Augustin Lhermitte’s “La prière, église Saint-Bonnet,” which is in the public domain.