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Saturday, July 13, 2024
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Prayers in time of a pandemic

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The early Christians prayed in the church of the home. Once more, in troubled times when public worship has to be restricted, we are called to pray in “the domestic church”, always aware of the promise of Jesus, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am among them.” (Matthew 18:20).

In this challenging time

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Lord Jesus Christ, our true physician and healer, be merciful to us and bring us your aid in these troubled times. Heal all our sickness and every affliction of your people.

Drive out our infirmities of soul and body; free us from all disease and especially from this pestilence.

We place in your gentle Heart the elderly, the frail, people with disability, children, young people and families, our indigenous peoples, those who are poor, lonely and isolated. As you walk with us, free them from fear, and give them patience and hope together with our loving care.

In your mercy deal also with the causes of our pitiful condition, that in curing our lack of faith and spiritual weakness, you may also remedy our bodily ills.

We place our trust in you, the risen Lord, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

For those who care for the sick

Father of mercies, we thank you for all who care for the sick.
When they diagnose, give them patience.
When they protect the vulnerable, give them your protection.
When they work to heal, give them strength.
When they comfort, give them consolation.
When they are tired, give them rest.
When they are discouraged, bring them your hope.
May we welcome and respect them as we support one another in this time of trial. 

For those seeking a cure for the virus

Come, Holy Spirit, enlighten the minds of women and men of medical science who are working to find a solution to this viral infection. Guide their research and help them discover what you provide in creation, sure ways of control, protection, inoculation and healing. Strengthen them in their tiring work and enrich in them the virtue of hope. Amen.

For those who govern and represent us

Eternal Wisdom, guide our leaders called to serve us in our Nation. May they respond to the challenges of this affliction with prudence and sound judgement. With foresight, may their planning alleviate the economic burdens, compensate for losses, protect employment and ensure ample food for the poor and isolated. Amen.

For humility 

Merciful Lord, we stand before you in our human weakness.

We confess that we have been caught up in the pride and presumption that drives our worldly society. Free us from the arrogance that afflicts our age, for now we stand confounded by conditions beyond our control or understanding.

Give us humble and honest hearts to discern the greater mystery of your providence in creation. May we accept your justice and trust your redeeming mercy. Amen

Some Scripture readings

Sub Tuum

This short prayer to Our Lady has been prayed by Christians in troubled times since the third century.

We fly to your protection, O Holy Mother of God; despise not our petitions in our hour of need, but deliver us always from all dangers, O glorious and blessed Virgin Mary. Amen

Our Lady of Good Health

Prayer from the shrine of Our Lady of Good Health, Church of la Maddalena and tomb of Saint Camillus, Rome.

Mother of Mercy, Our Lady of Good Health, in visiting St Elizabeth and in watching at the foot of the Cross of your suffering Son, you showed your solidarity with suffering humanity. Hear the prayer of all your infirm children who come to you with the certainty of finding a Mother who welcomes, heals and comforts them.

Mother of our Saviour and our Mother, hear the intentions that we entrust to your intercession: heal our illnesses, transform our tears into prayer and our sufferings into moments of growth, change our loneliness into contemplation and our waiting into hope, assist us in our final hours and transform our death into resurrection. Amen.

Our Lady of Valainkanni

At the great Marian shrine of Valainkanni in India, every day thousands of pilgrims of all faiths seek the healing intercession of their beloved Mother. We make their prayers our own.

Radiant Queen, our gentle Mother of mercy and compassion, look kindly on your children who seek your help and consolation in these times. Pray for our protection and healing, for patience, perseverance in suffering, and conformity to God’s Will. Amen.

A Litany of Saints of Mercy

In the communion of saints, at this time we are surrounded by many unseen friends. Let us confidently invoke the Saints and Angels for the healing and health of those who are infected and for protection from the virus.

Mary, Health of the Sick, pray for us.
Mary, Comforter of the Afflicted, pray for us.
Mary Immaculate of Lourdes, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saint Dymphna, Virgin and Martyr, pray for us.
Saint Blaise, Bishop, pray for us.
Saint Edmund, King and Martyr, pray for us.
Saint Peregrine Laziosi, pray for us.
Saint Juliana Falconieri, pray for us.
Saint Margaret of Castello, pray for us.
Saint Lidwina, pray for us.
Saint Roch the hermit, pray for us.
Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us.
Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, pray for us.
Saint John of God, pray for us.
Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, pray for us.
Saint Charles Borromeo, Cardinal, pray for us.
Saint Martin de Porres, pray for us.
Saint Camillus de Lellis, pray for us.
Saint Louise de Marillac, pray for us.
Saint Jeanne Jugan, pray for us.
Saint Damien of Molokai, pray for us.
Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop, pray for us.
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, pray for us.
Saint Teresa of Kolcata, pray for us.

When you cannot come to Mass

Take the missal or weekly bulletin and read the Scriptures provided in the Liturgy of the Word for the day. Reflect silently on the readings. You may also choose to offer intercession in the Prayer of the Faithful. Read the Rite of Communion and then use this prayer or some other appropriate words to welcome Jesus Christ spiritually.

An Act of Spiritual Communion

At this time, we cannot receive you Lord Jesus sacramentally in the Eucharist. Help us to welcome you spiritually as we wait for the day when your saving Sacrifice will be offered  and the divine Banquet will be spread in our churches once more.

You are the Lamb of God who take away the sins of the world. Blessed are those who are called to the supper of the Lamb.

Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof. But only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

My Jesus, come to me. I long for you; let me always be at one with you.

St Alphonsus Ligouri

Come, Lord Jesus!  Welcome, Eucharistic Lord. Welcome my Saviour and my God.

Lord I believe. Lord, I welcome, Lord I receive. My Lord! I thank you for the grace I receive in these moments. Silent prayer of gratitude.

Lent and our journey to Easter

This crisis came at the heart of Lent. As we journey to Easter in 2020, let us practise personal prayer, fasting and self-sacrifice, with generosity to the poor. PROJECT COMPASSION continues to need our support. Seek reconciliation through examination of conscience and acts of contrition. Daily prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours is recommended, with reflective meditation on the Stations of the Cross and the Mysteries of the Rosary. When the Holy Week ceremonies are restricted, read the appropriate texts of these rites in your missal on each sacred day.

For the faithful departed

Be merciful, Lord Jesus, to all who have entered eternity because of this virus. Comfort and strengthen their families and friends with the hope of your glorious Resurrection.

Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and may light perpetual shine upon them. + May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen

For peace of soul

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you.
All things are passing:
God alone is changeless.
Patience gains all things,
Who has God wants nothing.
God alone suffices.

St Teresa of Avila

Related articles:

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Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP’s Pastoral Letter on Coronavirus restrictions
Steven Buhagiar: Living the Gospel of Life in an era of COVID-19

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