After much prayer and consultation, the Mother General of the order proposed a global prayer campaign that would be "a veritable blitz on heaven."
The Little Sisters of the Poor, who serve over 13,000 elderly poor across 32 countries, have launched a new initiative aimed at ending the coronavirus pandemic. Inspired by the message received by Sister Lucia of Fatima during the 1974 Carnation Revolution, the Little Sisters began the “A Million Families, a Million Rosaries” campaign.
According to Sr. Mary Richards, “Our Mother General, Mother María del Monte Auxiliadora, wrote to the whole Congregation at the end of March. She had prayed about the coronavirus crisis and consulted the superiors of the different provinces.” Mother wrote, “I suggest that we launch a ‘campaign,’ on a global scale, a veritable ‘blitz’ on heaven, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary.”
Sr. Mary Richards added, “During the Portuguese Revolution of 1974-1975, Sister Lucia (one of the Fatima visionaries) asked Our Lady to stop the violence. She replied, ‘The revolution will stop when a million families pray the Rosary.’ This inspired Mother Maria to ask us to get in touch with as many families and other persons as possible, to create a chain of family rosaries. She sees the coronavirus pandemic as a ‘situation of war,’ which cannot be won by human means alone, but only through prayer.”
“Will we manage to involve a million families?” she asked. “God only knows, but if we put our whole heart into this, Our Lady will see our goodwill and be touched …. Let us try this in a very humble way and leave the rest in the hands of our Immaculate Mother.”
The Little Sisters of the Poor operate 29 residences that serve the elderly poor within the United States. They have lost 11 residents to the virus. Fr. Hilary John Rodgers, a retired priest and resident at the Jeanne Jugan Residence in Newark, Delaware, was the fourth person to succumb to coronavirus complications.
Mother Margaret Regina Halloran, superior of the Residence in Newark, reacted after the virus claimed the life of an 86-year-old resident, the first death:
“We are devastated at the loss of our dear Resident and the positive test results of six others. In all our Homes, the Residents truly become our family. We Little Sisters will continue to do all in our strength to meet this challenge, keep our beloved Residents safe and comfortable and provide them with spiritual accompaniment, while also assuring the safety of our staff.”
The Little Sisters care for those who are most vulnerable and are taking every step possible to protect and care for their residents. As with many nursing homes and elderly care facilities, the challenge is immense. But the Sisters are taking the battle to the next level with this prayer campaign imploring the Blessed Mother for her loving intercession.
To join in the prayer campaign, please visit: http://littlesistersofthepoor.org/a-million-families-a-million-rosaries/
Like many healthcare facilities around the country, the Little Sisters are in short supply of masks and other PPE. To donate supplies or support them during the time of this crisis, please visit Little Sisters of the Poor Locations to find the nearest home.
“Thus the Rosary is the prayer which God, through his Church and Our Lady, has recommended most insistently to us all, as a road to and a gateway of salvation: “Pray the Rosary every day.” (Our Lady, 13th May 1917). Ave Maria.” Sister Lucia of Fatima