Washington D.C., Jul 6, 2014 (CNA/EWTN News) -
Catholics throughout the world joined together on June 27 to ask for Mary’s intercession in a 24-hour rosary initiative for World Priest Day.
“Be assured that I will offer my praying of the Holy Rosary for the sanctification of priests,” wrote Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, announcing that he would participate in the day of prayer.
“The sanctification of priests is a daily intention in my prayers, and, therefore, I am happy to participate in this global prayer for priests,” he added.
The Annual Global Rosary Relay is an initiative for World Priest Day, a day of prayer and sanctification established by St. Pope John Paul II to be celebrated on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart. This year, the feast day fell on June 27.
The rosary relay aims to have participants praying a particular mystery of the rosary at a particular half hour staggered throughout the day. The prayers are offered in thanksgiving to God for priests and to ask Mary for her special protection and care for them.
This year’s Annual Global Rosary Relay started in Siberia with the recitation of the Joyful Mysteries.
The rosary prayers then passed along to a number of shrines, cathedrals and churches around the globe, including a number of shrines dedicated to apparitions of Mary in South Africa, Poland, France, and elsewhere, including the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico and the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal.
Over the course of 24 hours, a total of 84 shrines in 46 countries around the world participated, allowing the entire world to be covered in prayer for priests.
The Vatican also joined in the rosary relay, with a special intention for Pope Francis, and the rosary was broadcast by EWTN around the world.
The United States was one of the last countries to receive the relay “handoff” with the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., and basilicas and shrines in California, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon, New York and New Mexico participating in the relay.
The final group to participate in the rosary relay was the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in the Diocese of Green Bay, Wis.
Vatican City, Jul 6, 2014 (CNA/EWTN News) -
At his Angelus address Sunday, Pope Francis noted that Christ's invitation, “come unto me, all you who are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest,” is given to each and every person, through all time.
“When Jesus says this, he has before his eyes the people he encountered everyday in the streets of Galilee: many simple people, the poor, the sick, sinners, the marginalized … This people always flocked to hear his word – a word of hope,” he exclaimed July 6 in St. Peter's Square.
“This invitation of Jesus' extends to the present day, reaching the many brothers and sisters weighed down by poor living conditions, by difficult life situations and sometimes by a lack of valid points of reference.”
In the present day, he noted, there are “many people harrassed, and helpless under the unbearable weight of abandonment and indifference … on the margins of society, there are many men and women worn down by poverty, but also by dissatisfaction and frustration in life.”
Pope Francis lamented indifference to the needy, but emphasizing that “worse, is the indifference of Christians!”
“Many are forced to emigrate from their homeland, risking their lives. Many more daily bear the weight of an economic system that exploits man, imposing an unbearable 'yoke' which the privileged few do not want to carry.”
Not only to the poor is Christ's call addressed, Pope Francis said: “But he also talks too to those who possess everything, yet whose heart is empty and without God. To these also, Jesus addresses the invitation: 'Come to me.'”
“The call of Jesus is for everyone. But in a special way for those who suffer the most.”
Christ, Pope Francis noted, “promises to give refreshment to all, but there is also an invitation, which is like a commandment: ‘Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart.'”
“Once you have received the refreshment and comfort of Christ, we are called in turn to become refreshment and comfort for our brothers and sisters, with a meek and humble attitude, in imitation of the Master.”
This meekness and humility, Pope Francis said, helps restrain us from imposing upon others “our own personal views, our judgements, our criticisms our our indifference.”
Concluding his address, the Pope invoked the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary, asking that she help us to be a relief to those who need help, tenderness, and hope.