Tuesday 31 May sees this year’s Marian month of May draw to a close, and Pope Francis has invited everyone to pray the Rosary with him for peace around the world.

The Pope said on Sunday:

I invite the faithful, families, and communities to join this invocation to obtain from God—through the intercession of the Queen of Peace—the gift which the world awaits.

The prayer vigil will take place at 6pm Rome time, broadcast from the Basilica of St Mary Major. However, since that will be 2am in Melbourne the following day, you are invited to close your Tuesday praying the Rosary for the pope’s intentions.

The Pope will lead the Rosary before the statue of Mary Regina Pacis: Mary ‘Queen of Peace’. This particular statue holds great significance since it was commissioned by Pope Benedict XV in 1918 in a prayer to end the First World War. It was made by the sculptor Guido Galli, and it depicts the Blessed Virgin with her left hand raised, imploring an end to the violence. The infant Jesus in her other arm offers an olive branch, a symbol of peace.

Pope Francis has previously encouraged people to rediscover the beauty of the Rosary, and also said that the prayer is a path of peace:

Indeed, in the Rosary while we repeat the Hail Mary we meditate on the Mysteries, on the events of Christ’s life, so as to know and love him ever better. The Rosary is an effective means for opening ourselves to God, for it helps us to overcome egotism and to bring peace to hearts, in the family, in society and in the world.

With the violence in Ukraine continuing, and tensions building elsewhere around the world, let us pray with the Queen of Peace that God’s own peace will reign in people’s hearts.

Peace I leave to you, my own peace I give you, not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid (John 14:27).
Rome Santa Maria Maggiore 2020 P09 Ave Regina Pacis
Ave Regina Pacis (source: Wikimedia Commons).