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.
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