Amid worsening conditions related to the global coronavirus outbreak, Pope Francis urged Catholics to unite spiritually to pray the rosary simultaneously on the Feast of St. Joseph.
The pope invited every family, every individual Catholic, and every religious community to pray the Luminous mysteries on Thursday, March 19 at 9:00 pm Rome time. The initiative was initially proposed by the bishops of Italy.
Accounting for the time zone difference, the time indicated by the pope would be 1 p.m. Thursday for faithful on the West Coast.
The pope made the plea at the end of his weekly Wednesday General Audience, which was broadcast from the Vatican's Apostolic Palace due to the national quarantine under effect in Italy.
On Wednesday the Archdiocese of Los Angeles announced that Archbishop Jose H. Gomez would be joining the Holy Father in the recitation of the rosary Thursday at 1 p.m. Western time from the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels via live stream at lacatholics.org/rosary and Facebook.
The following is a translation of the pope's remarks regarding the rosary initiative:
Tomorrow we will celebrate the Solemnity of Saint Joseph. In life, work, family, joy and sorrow he always sought and loved the Lord, meriting the praise of Scripture as a just and wise man. Always invoke him with confidence, especially in difficult times, and entrust your lives to this great Saint.
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 Saint 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.