The following prayers and resources are offered to assist the faithful during the threat of the coronavirus:
EXTRAORDINARY MOMENT OF PRAYER PRESIDED OVER BY POPE FRANCIS
Sagrato of St Peter’s Basilica Friday, 27 March 2020
“When evening had come” (Mk 4:35).
The Gospel passage we have just heard begins like this. For weeks now it has been evening. Thick darkness has gathered over our squares, our streets and our cities; it has taken over our lives, filling everything with a deafening silence and a distressing void, that stops everything as it passes by; we feel it in the air, we notice in people’s gestures, their glances give them away. We find ourselves afraid and lost.
Like the disciples in the Gospel we were caught off guard by an unexpected, turbulent storm. We have realized that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together, each of us in need of comforting the other. On this boat… are all of us.
Just like those disciples, who spoke anxiously with one voice, saying “We are perishing” (v. 38), so we too have realized that we cannot go on thinking of ourselves, but only together can we do this. It is easy to recognize ourselves in this story.
What is harder to understand is Jesus’ attitude. While his disciples are quite naturally alarmed and desperate, he stands in the stern, in the part of the boat that sinks first. And what does he do? In spite of the tempest, he sleeps on soundly, trusting in the Father; this is the only time in the Gospels we see Jesus sleeping. When he wakes up, after calming the wind and the waters, he turns to the disciples in a reproaching voice: “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” (v. 40).
Let us try to understand.
In what does the lack of the disciples’ faith consist, as contrasted with Jesus’ trust? They had not stopped believing in him; in fact, they called on him. But we see how they call on him: “Teacher, do you not care if we perish?” (v. 38).
Do you not care: they think that Jesus is not interested in them, does not care about them. One of the things that hurts us and our families most when we hear it said is: “Do you not care about me?” It is a phrase that wounds and unleashes storms in our hearts. It would have shaken Jesus too. Because he, more than anyone, cares about us. Indeed, once they have called on him, he saves his disciples from their discouragement.
The storm exposes our vulnerability and uncovers those false and superfluous certainties around which we have constructed our daily schedules, our projects, our habits and priorities. It shows us how we have allowed to become dull and feeble the very things that nourish, sustain and strengthen our lives and our communities.
The tempest lays bare all our prepackaged ideas and forgetfulness of what nourishes our people’s souls; all those attempts that anesthetize us with ways of thinking and acting that supposedly “save” us, but instead prove incapable of putting us in touch with our roots and keeping alive the memory of those who have gone before us.
We deprive ourselves of the antibodies we need to confront adversity. In this storm, the façade of those stereotypes with which we camouflaged our egos, always worrying about our image, has fallen away, uncovering once more that (blessed) common belonging, of which we cannot be deprived: our belonging as brothers and sisters.
“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?”
Lord, your word this evening strikes us and regards us, all of us. In this world, that you love more than we do, we have gone ahead at breakneck speed, feeling powerful and able to do anything. Greedy for profit, we let ourselves get caught up in things, and lured away by haste. We did not stop at your reproach to us, we were not shaken awake by wars or injustice across the world, nor did we listen to the cry of the poor or of our ailing planet. We carried on regardless, thinking we would stay healthy in a world that was sick.
Now that we are in a stormy sea, we implore you: “Wake up, Lord!”. “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” Lord, you are calling to us, calling us to faith. Which is not so much believing that you exist, but coming to you and trusting in you.
This Lent your call reverberates urgently: “Be converted!”, “Return to me with all your heart” (Joel 2:12). You are calling on us to seize this time of trial as a time of choosing. It is not the time of your judgement, but of our judgement: a time to choose what matters and what passes away, a time to separate what is necessary from what is not.
It is a time to get our lives back on track with regard to you, Lord, and to others. We can look to so many exemplary companions for the journey, who, even though fearful, have reacted by giving their lives. This is the force of the Spirit poured out and fashioned in courageous and generous self-denial. It is the life in the Spirit that can redeem, value and demonstrate how our lives are woven together and sustained by ordinary people – often forgotten people – who do not appear in newspaper and magazine headlines nor on the grand catwalks of the latest show, but who without any doubt are in these very days writing the decisive events of our time: doctors, nurses, supermarket employees, cleaners, caregivers, providers of transport, law and order forces, volunteers, priests, religious men and women and so very many others who have understood that no one reaches salvation by themselves.
In the face of so much suffering, where the authentic development of our peoples is assessed, we experience the priestly prayer of Jesus: “That they may all be one” (Jn 17:21). How many people every day are exercising patience and offering hope, taking care to sow not panic but a shared responsibility. How many fathers, mothers, grandparents and teachers are showing our children, in small everyday gestures, how to face up to and navigate a crisis by adjusting their routines, lifting their gaze and fostering prayer. How many are praying, offering and interceding for the good of all.
Prayer and quiet service: these are our victorious weapons. “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith”?Faith begins when we realise we are in need of salvation. We are not self-sufficient; by ourselves we founder: we need the Lord, like ancient navigators needed the stars. Let us invite Jesus into the boats of our lives.
Let us hand over our fears to him so that he can conquer them. Like the disciples, we will experience that with him on board there will be no shipwreck. Because this is God’s strength: turning to the good everything that happens to us, even the bad things. He brings serenity into our storms, because with God life never dies.
The Lord asks us and, in the midst of our tempest, invites us to reawaken and put into practice that solidarity and hope capable of giving strength, support and meaning to these hours when everything seems to be floundering. The Lord awakens so as to reawaken and revive our Easter faith.
We have an anchor: by his cross we have been saved.
We have a rudder: by his cross we have been redeemed.
We have a hope: by his cross we have been healed and embraced so that nothing and no one can separate us from his redeeming love.
In the midst of isolation when we are suffering from a lack of tenderness and chances to meet up, and we experience the loss of so many things, let us once again listen to the proclamation that saves us: he is risen and is living by our side. The Lord asks us from his cross to rediscover the life that awaits us, to look towards those who look to us, to strengthen, recognize and foster the grace that lives within us. Let us not quench the wavering flame (cf. Is 42:3) that never falters, and let us allow hope to be rekindled.
Embracing his cross means finding the courage to embrace all the hardships of the present time, abandoning for a moment our eagerness for power and possessions in order to make room for the creativity that only the Spirit is capable of inspiring.
It means finding the courage to create spaces where everyone can recognize that they are called, and to allow new forms of hospitality, fraternity and solidarity. By his cross we have been saved in order to embrace hope and let it strengthen and sustain all measures and all possible avenues for helping us protect ourselves and others. Embracing the Lord in order to embrace hope: that is the strength of faith, which frees us from fear and gives us hope.
“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith”?
Dear brothers and sisters, from this place that tells of Peter’s rock-solid faith, I would like this evening to entrust all of you to the Lord, through the intercession of Mary, Health of the People and Star of the stormy Sea.
From this colonnade that embraces Rome and the whole world, may God’s blessing come down upon you as a consoling embrace.
Lord, may you bless the world, give health to our bodies and comfort our hearts. You ask us not to be afraid. Yet our faith is weak and we are fearful. But you, Lord, will not leave us at the mercy of the storm. Tell us again: “Do not be afraid” (Mt 28:5).
And we, together with Peter, “cast all our anxieties onto you, for you care about us” (cf. 1 Pet 5:7).
©Copyright - Libreria Editrice Vaticana
Pope Francis’ Prayer to Mary during the coronavirus pandemic
you always shine on our path
as a sign of salvation and of hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain, keeping your faith firm.
You, Salvation of the Roman People,
know what we need,
and we are sure you will provide
so that, as in Cana of Galilee,
we may return to joy and to feasting
after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform to the will of the Father
and to do as we are told by Jesus,
who has taken upon himself our sufferings
and carried our sorrows
to lead us, through the cross,
to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.
Under your protection, we seek refuge, Holy Mother of God. Do not disdain the entreaties of we who are in trial, but deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.
Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference Prayer Suggestions
This is an occasion for all of us – especially in families – to pray more intensely for each other and especially for those who have succumbed to the illness. We should pray also for those at the frontlines – especially doctors, nurses and medical staff and other carers, including clergy – that the Lord will protect them as they place their own wellbeing at risk in the service of all.
Bishops are suggesting that the following prayers be recited at this time:
Extract from Saint Patrick’s Breastplate
Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
Lúireach Phádraig – Saint Patrick’s Breastplate
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection,
implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided.
Inspired with this confidence,
I fly to you, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother.
To you I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
despise not my petitions, but in your mercy, hear and answer. Amen.
a Mhaighdean Mhuire róghrámhar,
nár chualathas trácht ar éinne
riamh a chuir é féin
faoi do choimirce
ná a d’iarr cabhair ort
ná a d’impigh d’idirghuí
is gur theip tú air.
Lán de mhuinín asat, dá bhrí sin,
rithimse chugat, a Mhaighdean
na maighdean is a Mháthair.
Is chugatsa a thagaim,
is os do chomhair a sheasaim,
i mo pheacach bocht atuirseach.
Ó a Mháthair an Aonmhic,
ná diúltaigh do m’urnaithe
ach éist leo go trócaireach agus
freagair iad. Ámén.
Praying at home with Saint Patrick
The following resource Praying at Home With Saint Patrick is offered to you so that, even in the absence of public Mass, you can celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day prayerfully, with your family, wherever you are.
If possible, prepare a suitable prayer space with a crucifix, holy picture or even a simple candle.
We hope that, if possible, you might also participate in one of the many Masses being celebrated all over Ireland on webcam, or parish radio.
Click here to download the resource Praying at Home with St Patrick
Novena in Preparation for the Feast of the Annunciation
(17 March (Evening) to 25 March 2020)
In these days, beginning on the Evening of St. Patrick’s Day and leading up to the Feast of the Annunciation, we hope that these Novena Prayers may help you to ponder God’s Word, even in the absence of public Mass. If possible, prepare a suitable prayer space with a crucifix, holy picture or even a simple candle. Feel free, if time allows, to add the Rosary after the Gospel and before the Novena prayer given for each day.
Click here to download the Novena in Preparation for the Feast of the Annunciation.
An Act of Spiritual Communion
This is a simple and loving act of Spiritual Communion we are called to make in these times, while we are unable to attend Mass and receive the Eucharist:
COMECE/CCEE Common Prayer to God for Help
The Presidents of the two bodies representing the Bishops’ Conferences of European
countries (COMECE and CCEE) have released a our common prayer to God for help,
comfort and salvation:
God our Father, Creator of the world, almighty and merciful, out of love for us
You sent your Son into the world as the doctor of our souls and our bodies,
look upon your children who, in this difficult time of confusion and dismay in
many regions of Europe and the world, turn to you seeking strength, salvation
and relief, deliver us from illness and fear, heal our sick, comfort their families, give wisdom
to our rulers, energy and reward to our doctors, nurses and volunteers, eternal
life to the dead. Do not abandon us in the moment of trial but deliver us from all
We ask this of Thee, who with the Son and the Holy Spirit, live and reign for
ever and ever.
Mary, mother of health and hope, pray for us!
May our blessing be with you,
Jean-Claude Card. Hollerich SJ
Archbishop of Luxembourg
President of COMECE
Angelo Card. Bagnasco
Archbishop of Genoa
President of CCEE
A Prayer in this time of challenge by Bishop Larry Duffy
God of Love, we the people of the Diocese of Clogher turn to you with prayerful hearts and with confidence in your loving presence among us now and in every moment of our lives. We stand before you as a people of hope, trusting in your care and protection. May we be comforted by your love in these anxious times.
Generous and Merciful God, fill us with compassion and concern for others, young and old; that we may look after each other in these challenging times, especially those among us who are vulnerable. May your example give us the courage we need to go to the margins, wherever they may be. Heal us of our fear.
Healing God, bring healing to those who are sick with the Coronavirus and be with their families and neighbours. We pray especially who those who are isolated, that they may know your love. Stay by our side in this time of uncertainty and sorrow.
God of Strength, accompany all those who serve us with such love and generosity in the medical profession and in all our healthcare facilities. We give thanks for their continued work in the service of people. We ask you to bless them, strengthen them and guide them with your abundant goodness.
God of Wisdom, we ask you to guide the leaders in healthcare and governance; that they may make the right decisions for the wellbeing of people.
O God of creation and God of life, we, your people here in Clogher, place ourselves and our world in your protection and love. May your peace be with us and enfold us today, tomorrow and during the time ahead.
We make our prayer through the intercession of Mary our Mother, and all the saints.
St Joseph, pray for us.
St Patrick, pray for us.
St Macartan, pray for us.
St Davnet, pray for us.
St Fanchea, pray for us.
May all the saints of God, pray for us, Amen!
+ Larry Duffy, Bishop of Clogher
Knock Shrine Prayer – You Will Be Prayed For in Knock
Lord, in 1879 the Apparition in Knock gave comfort and hope to your people in a time of distress and worry. In the presence of Our Lady, St Joseph, St John the Evangelist and the Lamb of God you showed us that we are neither alone nor abandoned in times of great need, personally and as a people.
We ask you Lord, to walk with us again as we face the Coronavirus. Help our medical personnel to bring the virus to a swift end and bless them in their work. We ask healing and recovery to be given to all who are suffering from the virus and their families.
May all of us, Lord, be strengthened by the spiritual support of the Christian community at this time through prayer, fasting and concern for one another. May we never abandon hope in the face of adversity and trust in your love for us. Amen
Our Lady of Knock, pray for us.
St Joseph, pray for us.
St John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Father Brian Grogan SJ
Give Us This Day – texts for Morning and Evening Prayer
Give Us This Day is published by Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN, USA and it contains texts for a Morning and Evening Prayer, for Mass with daily reflections, commentary on Scriptures, as well as prayers, hymns and colour images. This translation of the Scriptures is that which is used by the Church in the US. Visit GUTD.net and select ‘Digital’ in the upper right hand corner of the screen. Then download the full PDF colour edition on the right hand side of the browser (Chrome is the preferred browser for use with this resource). You can also access this resource by downloading the Give Us This Day app directly from the Apple and Google stores.
Prayers at Home When Gathering for Mass is Not Possible
This prayer booklet has been prepared by the Diocese of Clonfert and the Diocese of Elphin specifically for this time we find ourselves in. While you can pray this at any time, a good time to do so would be at the time Mass is normally celebrated in your local parish.
Click here to download the resource.
Prayers from the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin
A Coronavirus Prayer
Loving and healing God,
we, the people of Kildare & Leighlin turn to you in prayer,
confident that you are with us and with all people in every moment.
We stand before you as people of hope, trusting in your care and protection.
May your faithful love support us and soothe the anxiety of our hearts.
fill us with compassion and concern for others, young and old,
that we may look after one another in these challenging days.
Bring healing to those who are sick with the virus and be with their families.
May those who have died rest in your eternal embrace.
Comfort their family and friends.
Strengthen and protect all medical professionals caring for the sick
and all who work in our medical facilities.
Give wisdom to leaders in healthcare and governance
that they may make the right decisions for the well-being of people.
We pray in gratitude for all those in our country who will continue to work in the days ahead in so many fields of life for the sake of us all.
Bless them and keep them safe.
O God of creation and life,
we place ourselves in your protection.
May the mantle of your peace enfold us this day and tomorrow.
St Brigid, pray for us.
St Conleth, pray for us.
St Lazerian, pray for us.
May all the saints of God, pray for us. Amen.
A Prayer for Healthcare Workers during this time of the Coronavirus COVID-19
we place into your care
all our doctors, nurses and healthcare workers.
Give them courage of heart
and strength of mind and body.
Keep them safe from harm.
May they know our deep gratitude
for all they are doing
to heal and help those affected by
God of all consolation
may they know your protection and peace.
Bless them in these challenging days
and bless their families.
A Prayer for our Priests as they exercise their ministry during this time of the Coronavirus COVID-19
Be with our priests this day as they seek
to minister to your people.
May you be a guiding and protective presence with them
as they bring the consolation and hope of Your word
and the grace and nourishment of Eucharist
to those entrusted into their care.
Grant them the strength of mind and body,
keep them safe to do your will,
And give them the courage and peace
to face each day with trust and confidence in You.
Into your hands O God, we commend them;
fill them with your grace and healing.
Dublin Diocese – Press the Pause Button
In what is an anxious time for so many, it is good to take time to pray, pause and reflect on the opportunities that the current health crisis can provide. The Dublin Diocesan Liturgical Resource Centre has prepared a possible 8-step programme to follow or adapt to your own situation which in entitled Press the Pause Button
Download the resource here.
Paidir Phroinsias Naofa/Prayer of Saint Francis
Déan gléas chun síochána díom id láimh, a Thiarna
San áit a bhfuil fuath go gcuire me an grá
..san áit a bhfuil ciontacht go gcuire me; pardún
..san áit a bhfuil amhras go gcuire me creideamh
..in áit na éadóchas; go gcuire me an dóchas;
..in áit na dorchadas go gcuire me solas
..san áit in a bhfuil brón go gcuire me lúcháir
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
..where there is injury, pardon;
..where there is doubt, faith;
..where there is despair, hope;
..where there is darkness, light;
..where there is sadness, joy;
A Thiarna, deonaigh a spreagadh dhom
.. sólas a thabhairt seachas sólas a fháil
.. dul i dtuiscint ar dhaoine seachas go dtuigfí me féin
..Grá a roinnt ar dhaoine seachas grá fháil uathu
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
..to be consoled as to console;
..to be understood as to understand;
..to be loved as to love.
Mar is le linn dúinn tabhairt a fhaighimid féin
..is le linn dúinn pardún a thabhairt a mhaitear dúinn
..is le linn dúinn bás a fháil a théimid i seilbh na beatha síoraí.
For it is in giving that we receive;
..it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
..and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Paidir Naomh Micheál/Prayer to Saint Michael
A Naoimh-Mícheál Árdaingeal
cosain sinn i n-am an chatha,
bí mar dhídean againn in aghaidh urchoírde
agus chealgaireachta an diabhail.
Go mbagruighidh Dia air, athchuinghimíd go humhal.
Agus dean-sa a cheannphuirt na sluaighte neamhdha an t-aidhbheirseoir céadna a theilgean síos síos go hifreann, tré chómhacht Dé, agus ina theannta sin na hainsoioraid eile atá ag imtheacht ar fuaid an domhain le fonn anamnacha a chuir i mbealach a gcaillte. Áméin.
Holy Michael the Archangel,
defend us in the battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil.
Rebuke him, O God, we humbly beseech thee;
and do thou, O Prince of the
heavenly host, by the divine power,
cast into hell satan and
all the other evil spirits
who wander through the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
Lockdown – A Reflection by Brother Richard Hendrick OFM Cap
Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,
Brother Richard Hendrick, 13 March 2020
Prayer of Saint John Henry Newman