In a letter for the month of May, published on the feast of St Mark the Evangelist (25 April), Pope Francis notes that it is a tradition to pray the Rosary at home with the family during this month. This year, he continues, “the restrictions of the pandemic have made us come to appreciate all the more this ‘family’ aspect, also from a spiritual point of view”. That is why he is proposing to everyone to “rediscover the beauty of praying the Rosary at home in the month of May”, whether individually or as a group, “making the most both opportunities”.
Pope Francis says that the key to doing this is always simplicity, and it is easy also on the internet to find good models of prayers to follow. We provide a guide below on how to pray the Rosary and include links to all the various mysteries of this special prayer for families.
Pope Francis’ Letter on the Month of May 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The month of May is approaching, a time when the People of God express with particular intensity their love and devotion for the Blessed Virgin Mary.
It is traditional in this month to pray the Rosary at home within the family.
The restrictions of the pandemic have made us come to appreciate all the more this “family” aspect, also from a spiritual point of view.
For this reason, I want to encourage everyone to rediscover the beauty of praying the Rosary at home in the month of May.
This can be done either as a group or individually; you can decide according to your own situations, making the most of both opportunities.
The key to doing this is always simplicity, and it is easy also on the internet to find good models of prayers to follow.
I am also providing two prayers to Our Lady that you can recite at the end of the Rosary, and that I myself will pray in the month of May, in spiritual union with all of you.
I include them with this letter so that they are available to everyone.
Dear brothers and sisters, contemplating the face of Christ with the heart of Mary our Mother
will make us even more united as a spiritual family and will help us overcome this time of trial.
I keep all of you in my prayers, especially those suffering most greatly, and I ask you, please, to pray for me.
I thank you, and with great affection I send you my blessing.
Rome, Saint John Lateran, 25 April 2020
Feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist
Pope Francis’ Prayers to Our Lady
You shine continuously on our journey
as a sign of salvation and hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who, at the foot of the cross,
were united with Jesus’ suffering,
and persevered in your faith.
“Protectress of the Roman people”,
you know our needs,
and we know that you will provide,
so that, as at Cana in Galilee,
joy and celebration may return
after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform ourselves to the will of the Father
and to do what Jesus tells us.
For he took upon himself our suffering,
and burdened himself with our sorrows
to bring us, through the cross,
to the joy of the Resurrection.
We fly to your protection,
O Holy Mother of God;
Do not despise our petitions
in our necessities,
but deliver us always
from every danger,
O Glorious and Blessed Virgin.
“We fly to your protection, O Holy Mother of God”.
In the present tragic situation, when the whole world is prey to suffering and anxiety,
we fly to you, Mother of God and our Mother, and seek refuge under your protection.
Virgin Mary, turn your merciful eyes towards us amid this coronavirus pandemic.
Comfort those who are distraught and mourn their loved ones who have died, and at times are buried in a way that grieves them deeply.
Be close to those who are concerned for their loved ones who are sick and who, in order to prevent the spread of the disease, cannot be close to them.
Fill with hope those who are troubled by the uncertainty of the future and the consequences for the economy and employment.
Mother of God and our Mother, pray for us to God, the Father of mercies,
that this great suffering may end and that hope and peace may dawn anew.
Plead with your divine Son, as you did at Cana, so that the families of the sick and the victims be comforted,
and their hearts be opened to confidence and trust.
Protect those doctors, nurses, health workers and volunteers who are on the frontline of this emergency, and are risking their lives to save others. Support their heroic effort and grant them strength, generosity and continued health.
Be close to those who assist the sick night and day,
and to priests who, in their pastoral concern and fidelity to the Gospel, are trying to help and support everyone.
Blessed Virgin, illumine the minds of men and women engaged in scientific research, that they may find effective solutions to overcome this virus.
Support national leaders, that with wisdom, solicitude and generosity they may come to the aid of those lacking the basic necessities of life
and may devise social and economic solutions inspired by farsightedness and solidarity.
Mary Most Holy, stir our consciences, so that the enormous funds invested in developing and stockpiling arms will instead be spent
on promoting effective research on how to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.
Beloved Mother, help us realize that we are all members of one great family and to recognize the bond that unites us,
so that, in a spirit of fraternity and solidarity, we can help to alleviate countless situations of poverty and need.
Make us strong in faith, persevering in service, constant in prayer.
Mary, Consolation of the afflicted, embrace all your children in distress
and pray that God will stretch out his all-powerful hand and free us from this terrible pandemic, so that life can serenely resume its normal course.
To you, who shine on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope, do we entrust ourselves, O Clement, O Loving, O Sweet Virgin Mary.
How to Pray the Rosary
When one refers to the Rosary, it is usually understood to mean five decades, or one fourth of the entire Rosary.
While many Catholics pray five decades of the Rosary each day, there is a considerable number who pray the twenty decades daily.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
O God come to my aid;
O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.
At the beginning of each decade, announce the “mystery” to be contemplated, for example, the first joyful mystery is “The Annunciation”.
An invocation may be added after each decade. At the end of the Rosary, the Loreto Litany or some other Marian prayer is recited.
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
Hail, Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with thee:
blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now, and at the hour of our death.
Glory be to the Father,
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning,
and ever shall be,
world without end.
Hail, holy Queen, mother of mercy; hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve;
to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us;
and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
Click here for a simple overview of how to pray the Rosary.
The Mysteries of the Rosary
The Joyful Mysteries – click here
The Mysteries of Light – click here
The Sorrowful Mysteries – click here
The Glorious Mysteries – click here