Ninth annual Rosary Relay to cover globe in prayer for priests

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Credit: KOBRYN TARAS/Shutterstock.

Marian shrines in more than 50 countries throughout world will join in a 24-hour rosary initiative on Friday to intercede for and honor the priestly vocation.

“It is an opportunity for us to raise our hearts to God for all priests in the exercise of their ministry,” WorldPriest, which organizes the event, said in a statement.

“Each of the participating shrines in 50+ countries prays a particular mystery of the Rosary at a particular half hour on the day in thanksgiving to God for our priests and to implore the protection and loving care of Our Lady, Mother of all priests.”

The Global Rosary Relay began nine years ago as an initiative of WorldPriest, an apostolate aimed at uniting priests and the laity in prayer. More than 150 Marian shrines and parishes – including some 35 in the U.S. – will host the rosary on June 8, coinciding with the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  

Scheduled for every half hour throughout the day, each shrine will pray a particular mystery of the rosary, collectively imploring the Blessed Mother’s intercession for a full 24 hours.

“With the coming of midnight on the 8 June 2018, the entire world, by then, will have been encircled in prayer for our priests on this The Annual Rosary Relay Day,” the organization said.

Those who cannot visit a participating shrine are encouraged to pray the rosary on their own, or with a group.  

The organization explained that the rosaries are offered for priests, “that they will be blessed, through our prayers, with God’s grace for their priesthood; that in this worldwide communion of prayer for them, they may experience our gratitude and support; and finally that they will persevere in unity with Christ and his Church and shepherd the Lord’s flock to the safe pastures of his Kingdom.”

Founded in 2003 by entrepreneur Marion Mulhall, WorldPriest was established in response to John Paul II’s announcement of a World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests. The organization works to support and promote the dignity and gift of the priesthood through efforts such as the Global Rosary Relay.

In 2016, the relay concluded the three-day Jubilee for Priests. The president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization led the final rosary in St. Peter’s Square that day.

Mulhall said that event, and her meeting with Pope Francis, were a great affirmation of her project’s efforts on behalf of priests.

“I can still hardly believe this has happened and that our apostolate in support of priests has received such supreme recognition and blessing,” she said.

“I wonder how this meeting will enhance our apostolate in the future? What blessings will be bestowed upon World Priest in the years ahead?”

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