NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori, the supreme chaplain of the Knights of Columbus, has asked his parishioners, members of the Knights and others to join in a novena invoking the intercession of Mary to aid the sick and all who are suffering due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In making his appeal, Archbishop Lori cited the prayer and the leadership of Pope Francis, who recently invoked Mary’s help under the special title of “Health of the Sick.” The Knights of Columbus has published the prayer said by Pope Francis and Archbishop Lori online, calling on members and Catholics to say the prayer over nine days as a novena beginning Sunday.
It especially prays “for those who have fallen ill, for those who are vulnerable and for those who have died.”
It adds: “Intercede also for those charged with protecting the health and safety of others and for those who are tending to the sick and seeking a cure.”
Supreme Knight Carl Anderson urged Knights to say this prayer in solidarity with the pope: “The Knights of Columbus has sponsored prayer campaigns at many important moments, including during World War II and after 9/11, because faith has always been central to the Knights. This prayer asks Our Lady to intercede for us with her son, as she did at the wedding feast at Cana, and it reflects our trust in her intercession with God and our reliance on Him in our lives.”
He explained that the Church’s response to the pandemic draws on its traditional confidence in both faith and reason, with reason dictating that Catholics should take the health precautions recommended by medical professionals and by science.
“At the same time, our faith makes clear that God is our all-powerful creator and that God is more powerful than any natural force, illness or economic setback,” Archbishop Lori said.
“Prayer has always been for Christ and his Church the most important response in times of adversity.”
He noted that the pandemic coincides with the liturgical season of Lent, which calls individuals to reconsider their relationships with God and neighbor, and calls on them “to take time for introspection and improvement of those relationships, and this seems particularly appropriate at this time.”
Knights are also urged to pray the prayer from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to Our Lady of Guadalupe, both during the Novena and in the days beyond.