By Sarah Mac Donald - 26 June, 2014
Millions of people around the world will pray the Rosary on Friday as part of the global Rosary Relay for Priests.
The initiative will officially take place at 85 shrines in 46 countries, from Russia to China, from Vietnam to Australia, from Africa to Italy, from Ireland to the US.
This year, the organisers are celebrating the news that Pope Francis has bestowed his Apostolic Blessing on the venture.
Speaking to CatholicIreland.net, Marion Mulhall, Founder and CEO of World Priest said, “I felt that it would be a lovely thing to let the Holy Father know that there was this global Rosary Relay for Priests and so we wrote to him via the Nunciature and about three and a half weeks ago, much to our huge joy, the most beautiful message came back from His Holiness via our Episcopal Advisor, Archbishop Michael Neary.”
In his message, which was conveyed by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin to Archbishop Michael Neary, the Pope sent his “cordial greetings” to all taking part in the ‘24 Hour Rosary Relay for Priests’ and assured them of his “spiritual closeness.”
“He prays that our Blessed Mother may always guide and protect priests who are consecrated to the joyful and indispensable mission of proclaiming the Gospel and offering God’s people, through the celebration of the sacraments, the closeness, the word and the strength of Christ (cf. Evangelii Gaudium,121),” the letter states.
“With great affection and appreciation for priests, His Holiness commends them and those joining in this event to the loving intercession of Our Lady of the Rosary, and willingly imparts his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of grace and peace.”
The idea for the Global Rosary Relay came as an inspiration to Marion Mulhall and it has now grown over the past five years into one of the largest days of prayer in the world – “one prayer on one day for one purpose.”
The Annual Global Rosary Relay idea is a simple one. Each of the 85 participating shrines in 46 countries prays a particular mystery of the Rosary at a particular half hour on the day in thanksgiving to God for priests and to implore the protection of Our Lady for all priests.
With the coming of midnight on the 27 June 2014, the entire world will by then have been encircled in prayer for priests on Annual Rosary Relay Day. “It just criss-crosses the entire world”, Marion Mulhall said.
It was Irish priest Fr Patrick Peyton who never tired of saying that: “The Family that prays together stays together.”
As the family of the Church, Marion Mulhall and World Priest are inviting people to join their prayers to the prayers of millions throughout the world on 27 June 2014.
“It is an opportunity for us to raise our hearts to God for all priests in the exercise of their ministry; that they will be blessed, through our prayers, with God’s grace for their priesthood; that in this worldwide communion of prayer for them, they may experience our gratitude and support; and finally that they will persevere in unity with Christ and his Church and shepherd the Lord’s flock to the safe pastures of his Kingdom.”
Marion Mulhall explained to CatholicIreland.net that there is a connection between her and Fr Patrick Peyton.
“I was just a day old when Fr Patrick Peyton blessed me.”
The famous Rosary priest’s organisation in the US, Holy Cross Family Ministries, are “totally behind” the Rosary Relay for Priests and have shared a lot of resources with World Priest such as a rosary app and an online interactive rosary.
“We are basically partners in this global rosary for priests,” Ms Mulhall explained.
She will be in Our Lady’s Island in Wexford at 8pm on Friday when the relay is spiritually passed on from the Shrine of Our Lady in Cardigan, the national shrine in Wales.
Then at 8.30pm Our Lady’s Island sends the rosary relay on to Portland Oregon in the US.
Three locations in Ireland are participating. In addition to Our Lady’s Island in Wexford, Knock will host the relay at 2.45pm and the Poor Clare Sisters in Simonscourt in Dublin at 6pm.
Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke has pledged to join in praying the rosary from the Vatican in union with the Annual Global Rosary Relay for priests.
“Be assured that I will offer my praying of the Holy Rosary for the sanctification of priests. The sanctification of priests is a daily intention in my prayers, and, therefore, I am happy to participate in this global prayer for priests,” the Cardinal told World Priest.
According to Marion Mulhall, there is a particular moment during the day when the whole world stops and prays for the Holy Father, Pope Francis. (It is 18.45 Rome time.)
“Pope Benedict personally wrote a beautiful prayer for priests which each country would pray as they passed the rosary on to the next – so we will be using that prayer to pray for Pope Francis,” she said.
“It is the connecting link – It is very beautiful to use that prayer written by a Pope to pray for the current Pope.”
His Holiness Benedict XVI’s Prayer for Priests
LORD JESUS CHRIST,
eternal High Priest, you offered yourself to the
Father on the altar of the Cross and through the
outpouring of the Holy Spirit gave your priestly
people a share in your redeeming sacrifice.
Hear our prayer for the sanctification of our priests.
Grant that all who are ordained to the ministerial
priesthood may be ever more conformed to you,
the divine Master. May they preach the
Gospel with pure heart and clear conscience.
Let them be shepherds according to your own Heart,
single- minded in service to you and to the Church
and shining examples of a holy,simple and joyful life.
Through the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
your Mother and ours,draw all priests and the flocks
entrusted to their care to the fullness of eternal life where
you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
BENEDICTUS PP XVI
His Holiness Benedict XVI’s Prayer for Priests
(specially composed for Worldpriest)
To be prayed at any time though especially for the Annual Global Rosary Relay for Priests as each country passes on the mystery of the Rosary to the next location the connecting link will be the Holy Fathers prayer.
For more information: www.worldpriest.com