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Documenting Devotion to Mary in Troubled Times

By Kayla Harris

During this unprecedented time in history with the COVID-19 pandemic, many Catholics across the world are turning to the Blessed Virgin Mary in prayer. 

The Marian Library documents the diverse expressions of popular devotion to Mary and is interested in how individuals across the world are seeking refuge with Mary during this time. Are you practicing social distancing by praying in a Mary garden in your yard? Are you participating in a novena with others across the world? Are you learning the chant for the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary?

We are interested in your personal experiences documenting devotion to Mary. Any electronic items such as emails, narratives, photographs and videos can be sent directly via email to, as can questions about the project and inquiries about donating physical items (journals, artifacts, photographs). 

Pope Francis’ appeal to the Blessed Mother

On March 11, Pope Francis recited a prayer asking Mary to protect Italy and the world from the pandemic. The prayer, translated by the Catholic News Service:

O Mary,
you always shine on our path
as a sign of salvation and of hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who at the cross took part in Jesus' pain, keeping your faith firm.
You, Salvation of the Roman People,
know what we need,
and we are sure you will provide
so that, as in Cana of Galilee,
we may return to joy and to feasting

after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform to the will of the Father
and to do as we are told by Jesus,
who has taken upon himself our sufferings
and carried our sorrows
to lead us, through the cross,
to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.

Under your protection, we seek refuge, Holy Mother of God. Do not disdain the entreaties of us who are in trial, but deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.

Angelo Jesus Canta explains in an article for America, “at a time of social distancing, increased anxiety and worldwide fear, Francis is not just making an appeal to Catholic devotion. He is calling us all to consider Mary not as an abstract helper but as a mother who has a proven track record of healing, protecting and watching over her people.” 

— Kayla Harris is a librarian and archivist in the Marian Library.

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