May Prayer Marathon will end at the icon of Mary untie the knots
Olga Sakun – Vatican City
On May 26, in the Vatican Gardens in front of the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, a prayer service was held by employees and retirees of the Vatican institutions from the association “Women in the Vatican”, which has about 70 members. This was the first face-to-face meeting of the association since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Each mystery of the Rosary was accompanied by a short sermon by Father Federico Lombardi, the spiritual assistant of Women in the Vatican.
On May 31, the final prayer of the marathon will be held under the leadership of the Holy Father. On this occasion, a unique copy of the icon of the Virgin Mary, untie the knots, especially revered by the Pope, will be delivered to the Vatican from Augsburg. The image of the Virgin was painted by the German painter Johann Georg Melchior c. 1700. It depicts the Blessed Virgin with a white ribbon with knots supported by two angels, framed by biblical scenes symbolizing hope, mercy and victory over evil.
During the prayer service on May 31, petitions will be offered to untie five symbolic “knots” associated with the pandemic. The first knot is the wounded relationship, loneliness and indifference that deepened during this period. The second knot is unemployment, especially among young people, women, fathers of families and those entrepreneurs who are trying to protect their own workers.
The third knot is the drama of violence, primarily domestic violence, and primarily violence against women, as well as violence that broke out as a result of social tensions as a result of the crisis. The fourth knot refers to human progress supported by science, and it must be untied so that scientific discoveries can serve all people. Finally, the fifth knot concerns pastoral work: it is a plea for local Churches, parishes, oratorios, pastoral and missionary centers to regain their enthusiasm and pastoral zeal.
The rosary will end with the crowning of the icon of the Virgin Mary with a precious crown made by the famous Roman jewelers, the Savi brothers. The prayer will be attended by a group of children who recently received their First Communion at the parish of Santa Maria della Grotticella in Viterbo. This parish was the first in Italy to provide its premises to the local sanitary services for vaccination.