Pope Francis has called on the faithful to pray the Rosary daily during the month of May, traditionally celebrated by Catholics as ‘Mary’s Month’.
As part of the May challenge, to display one of the new prayers with an image of the Madonna for each day of the month, we offer another image by Caravaggio titled ‘Sitting Madonna di Loreto’.
The Holy Father has written two new prayers to Mary and he has asked us to pray them with our daily Rosary. But he has also included this ancient prayer to Mary to be included also,
We fly to thy patronage, O Holy Mother of God;
despise not our petitions in our necessities,
but deliver us always from all dangers,
O glorious and blessed Virgin. Amen.
This prayer dates back to the 3rd century and is called Sub Tuum Praesidium, literally, ‘Beneath Thy Protection’ and is recognized as part of the ‘Memorare’ prayer given us by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux and popularized in the 15th century, It is often prayed at the conclusion of the Rosary.
Remember O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known, that anyone who fled to Thy protection, implored Thy help, or sought Thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, we fly unto Thee, O Virgin of Virgins, our Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.
As popes in the past have done in time of crisis, Pope Francis has called upon the faithful to appeal to Our Lady to intercede for us with her Son, to bring a swift end to the pandemic that is ravaging the world.
And so, with Rosary in hand, we, “Fly to her protection’.
How to say the Rosary: https://www.rosarycenter.org/homepage-2/rosary/how-to-pray-the-rosary/
Letter of Pope Francis including prayers: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2020-04/letter-on-the-month-of-may-full-text.html