Pope Benedict XV1 has officially endorsed the Annual Global Rosary Relay for Priests taking place on July 1 (Friday) and he has written a special prayer for the occasion.
In it he asks that all who are ordained to the ministerial priesthood may be ever more conformed to God, preach the Gospel with pure heart and clear conscience, and be shining examples of a holy, simple and joyful life.
48 rosaries will be prayed at 48 Marian shrines in 24 hours in this second event of its kind.
Since last year the number of shrines participating has doubled to 48 in thirty-five countries worldwide.
The event involves the members of the Church praying for all priests in the exercise of their ministry so that they may experience gratitude and support of the family of the Church.
Irishwoman Marion Mulhall has been praying for priests for around two decades (long before any of the recent scandals) and said that at the end of the Year for Priests, the Prayer Relay was an inspiration that she shared with colleagues and it spread and spread.
Knock hosted the first rally last year, as did 23 other shrines elsewhere in the world.
Not only is the rosary prayed at shrines but individuals can pray wherever they are be it at work or at home, commuting or relaxing with family and friends.
“It is organised in such a way that there will be an entire day of prayer over the entire world,” Marion Mulhall told ciNews.
“There will be someone praying in some part of the world every minute of the day. People really want to be part of it. It is very easy, you can just stop what you are doing (at the designated time) and pray. Children can do it, adults, people from other faiths – it is for everyone.”
This year, first up to recite the Rosary is to be Los Angeles at midnight GMT and the spiritual baton will sweep around the world and end up back in the USA in Wisconsin, 24 hours and 48 shrines later.
After Our Lady of the Angels, Los Angeles the Rosary Relay will then pass on every half hour to locations including Australia, China and other Asian countries, Dubai and the Middle East, Nazareth in the Holy Land, South Africa, Eastern and Western Europe including Ireland and Great Britain, and the Americas, ending back in the USA at The Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Wisconsin at (GMT) 24.00.
In Ireland the Glorious Mysteries will be recited at 6:00pm at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Knock.
The baton will be passed on at 6:30pm to Our Lady’s Island, Wexford for the Luminous Mysteries (or Mysteries of Light).
This is the first time the Relay is taking place in Wexford and they are expecting a packed church.
Each shrine team (in Ireland and abroad) received personalised publicity material and promote the event locally and through the internet.
They also use their own initiative in the local events that include the Rosary and the Pope’s prayer.
For example, In New York, the Shrine of Our Lady of Roses will be linked to up to 1,000 people via conference call.
“People are coming up with ideas and planning and thinking ahead. It has taken on a life of its own,” said Mulhall.
Among those who support the initiative in Ireland are Michael Neary Archbishop of Tuam, Ireland (Episcopal Advisor to Worldpriest) who said, “I believe it has great potential and will bring many spiritual benefits to all involved.”
Next year the event will be on June 15 during the World Eucharistic Congress.