Under the gaze of a seventh-century icon of Mary, Pope Francis launched a monthlong, global recitation of the rosary, pleading for Mary’s intercession for the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

And he prayed May 1 that Mary would move people’s consciences “so that the enormous amounts spent to increase and perfect weapons are instead used to promote research to prevent similar catastrophes in the future.”

The pope and about 160 young adults and families from Rome prayed in St. Peter’s Basilica and were joined remotely by people at the National Shrine and Basilica of Our Lady of Walsingham in England, the first of 30 Marian shrines around the world that will lead the rosary every day throughout May.

Praise the Lord

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