Marian Marathon in May

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“The whole Church was fervently praying to God.” (Acts 12:5)

Pope Francis has called for a global prayer marathon for the Month of May 2021.

In his weekly general audience on 14 April, Pope Francis said, “Everything in the church originates in prayer and everything grows thanks to prayer.”

He went on to say that if there is no prayer, the church becomes “like an empty shell” that “no longer possesses its source of warmth and love.”

He explained that it ends up being made up of groups of “entrepreneurs of faith” that may be well organised and engaged in charitable activities, but lack faith.

For the Marian Month of May, Pope Francis has made a special plea to the faithful. He asked that we pray the Rosary during this month, writing:


"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."


30 Marian Shrines from various parts of the world are involved with this initiative, under the theme “The whole Church was fervently praying to God.” (Acts 12:5)

“The initiative will involve all the Shrines of the world in a special way, so that they might encourage the faithful, families, and communities to recite the Rosary to pray for an end to the pandemic,” read the Vatican Press release.

Pope Francis will open the Marian month of prayer on 1 May with a Rosary broadcast across Vatican Media’s platforms.

Each day will see Vatican News broadcast the recitation of the Rosary at 6 PM Rome time from the various Shines taking part in the initiative.

The Pope will also close the initiative on 31 May with another specially-broadcast Rosary.