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Pope to lead Rosary for peace at image made to ask end of WWI


Bill Perry | Shutterstock

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 05/26/22

Pope Francis will close Mary's month united with the People of God and shrines from war-torn lands.

Pope Francis will pray the Rosary on May 31 at St. Mary Major in Rome, before the image of Our Lady, Regina Paris (Queen of Peace).

At the start of May, traditionally Mary’s month, the Holy Father urged everyone to pray the Rosary each day for the intention of peace.

According to the Dicastery for Promoting the New Evangelization, the Pope leading the Rosary on May 31 reflects his wish “to offer a sign of hope to the world, suffering from the conflict in Ukraine and deeply wounded by the violence of the many theaters of war still active.” He will pray the Rosary at 6 pm, Rome time (noon EST).


The statue of Mary Regina Pacis is located in the left aisle of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major. It was commissioned by Benedict XV, and made by sculptor Guido Galli, then deputy director of the Vatican Museums, to ask the Virgin to end World War I in 1918.

Our Lady is depicted with her left arm raised as a sign to order the end of the war, while with her right she holds Baby Jesus, ready to drop the olive branch symbolizing peace. Flowers at the base symbolize the blossoming of life with the return of peace. It is traditional for the faithful to lay small handwritten cards with prayer intentions at the feet of the Virgin.

The Pope will lay a wreath at the statue’s feet before addressing his prayer to Our Lady and leaving his particular intention.

Joined by the People of God

Various groups will be united with the Pope in prayer, representing the whole People of God — boys and girls who have just received First Communion or Confirmation, families from the Ukrainian community of Rome, parishioners from Roman parishes, members of the Curia, and members of the Swiss Guard.

A Ukrainian family, people related to war victims, and military chaplains will help lead the decades.

St Mary Major

United around the world

The event will be similar to May of 2021, during the heart of the pandemic, in that various shrines from around the world will unite in praying the Rosary at the same time. Some of these shrines are located in countries affected by war or political instability and violence.

Some of these shrines will be connected via livestream, including:

Shrine of the Mother of God (Zarvanytsia) in Ukraine
Cathedral of Sayidat al-Najat (Our Lady of Salvation) in Iraq
Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace in Syria
Cathedral of Mary Queen of Arabia in Bahrain

Other Marian shrines, including Guadalupe in Mexico, Lourdes in France, Knock in Ireland, the Holy House of Loreto in Italy, Jasna Gore in Poland, the Korean Martyrs, and others will also join in the event.

The prayer will be broadcast live on the official channels of the Holy See with translation into the Italian sign language LIS.

Pope FrancisUkraineVirgin MaryWorld War I
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