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Join pope in praying rosary at 3 p.m March 19 for pandemic

Published: March 19, 2020   
CNS photo/Vatican Media
Pope Francis prays the rosary at the Shrine of Our Lady of Divine Love in Rome in this May 1, 2018, file photo.

Pope Francis urged people to join the Italian bishops' request that Catholics pray the luminous mysteries of the rosary together March 19, the feast of St. Joseph. It will be prayed at 9 p.m. in Italy or 3 p.m. Central time.

"In life, in work, in family, in joy and sorrow," the pope said, St. Joseph "always looked for and loved the Lord, earning the praise Scripture offers of being a just and wise man. Always invoke him, especially in difficult times, and entrust your lives to this great saint."

In his general audience March 18, the pope said, "I join in the appeal of the Italian bishops who in this health emergency have promoted a moment of prayer for the whole country. Every family, every faithful, every religious community: all united spiritually tomorrow at 9 p.m. in the recitation of the rosary, with the Mysteries of Light. I will accompany you from here. We are led to the luminous and transfigured face of Jesus Christ and His Heart by Mary, Mother of God, health of the sick, to whom we turn with the prayer of the rosary, under the loving gaze of St. Joseph, guardian of the Holy Family and of our families. And we ask him to take special care of our family, our families, especially the sick and the people who are taking care of them: doctors, nurses, and volunteers, who risk their lives in this service."

Catholics are invited to pray the luminous mysteries. St. John Paul II instituted the Luminous Mysteries of the rosary, or the "Mysteries of Light," in his October 2002 letter on the rosary. In his document, the pope asks that they be recited especially on Thursdays.

Here are the Luminous Mysteries:

1. Christ's baptism in the Jordan River.

2. Christ's self-revelation at the marriage of Cana.

3. Christ's announcement of the kingdom of God with the invitation to conversion.

4. Christ's Transfiguration, when he revealed his glory to his Apostles.

5. The institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper as the sacramental expression of the paschal mystery.

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