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Rosary marathon: Nazareth’s Basilica of the Annunciation leads prayer for expectant women and unborn

The Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, northern Israel. The Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, northern Israel./ StateofIsrael via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 2.0).

The Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth will lead the global rosary marathon for an end to the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday.

Catholics gathering May 4 at the basilica, which marks the spot where tradition holds that the Angel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary, will offer the rosary “for all expectant women and their unborn babies.”

The church in Israel is the fourth of 30 Catholic shrines around the world to lead the rosary during the month-long initiative introduced by Pope Francis.

The pope launched the prayer marathon on May 1, when he led the rosary in St. Peter’s Basilica. The initiative will end on May 31 with a rosary in the Vatican Gardens.

The first shrine to lead the event was Walsingham in England on May 1, followed by the shrine of Jesus the Savior and Mother Mary in Elele, Nigeria, on May 2 and Jasna Góra in Poland on May 3.

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The rosary at the Basilica of the Annunciation is due to take place at 7 p.m. Jerusalem time and will be live-streamed.

Latin Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa invited Holy Land Catholics to take part in the event in an April 29 message.

He wrote: “Thirty shrines have been chosen to lead the Marian prayer on each day of the month, each one entrusted with a particular prayer intention for different groups of people most affected by the pandemic. Each day, the official channels of the Holy See will broadcast live, the prayers from each of the Shrines.”

He continued: “One of these 30 shrines chosen to lead the prayer is the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, which has been entrusted with the prayer intention for expectant women and the unborn. The prayer will take place on May 4, 2021, at 7:00 pm, Jerusalem time.”

“I ask everyone to join in this Marian prayer of intercession for an end of this painful pandemic and I wish you a peaceful and spiritually fruitful time of Pentecost waiting.”

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