Pope Francis ended the month-long prayer marathon for an end to the pandemic by praying for protection for the whole world on Monday, May 31.
The Holy Father thanked those who participated in the Marathon of Prayer “who with one voice have raised their prayer to the Holy Mother of God.”
“We continue to ask the Lord to protect the whole world from the pandemic, and that everyone, without exception, will soon be given the opportunity to protect themselves through vaccination,” he said.
The pontiff led the recitation of the final Rosary of the month-long prayer marathon in the Vatican Gardens.
He thanked 30 shrines around the world for taking part in the prayer activity, saying that he had seen “so much participation of the people of God”.
He was joined by first communicants and young people who have recently been confirmed, newlyweds and expecting couples during the concluding Rosary.
When he launched the prayer marathon at the end of April, Pope Francis asked Catholics to pray throughout the month of May for an end to the pandemic.
Each day of the month, a different Marian shrine led the faithful in a Rosary that was broadcast around the world.
Pope Francis himself kicked off the Month of Prayer by leading the Rosary from St Peter’s Basilica on May 1 before the image of the Madonna del Soccorso.
To represent the worldwide character of Monday’s prayer, shrines from around the world were connected live to the Rosary in the Vatican.
Sanctuaries from France, Germany, Rwanda, Chile, Spain, Scotland, Paraguay and Italy all joined together to pray with the pope and Catholics around the world for an end to the pandemic.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, the Holy Father crowned the image of the Virgin Mary, praying that, like Mary, “we too might consecrate ourselves” to God’s service, “and make ourselves available to one another in charity.”