At this time of the coronavirus outbreak, Pope Francis is encouraging Catholics in Italy to pray the rosary at the same hour on March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph. Catholics around the world can also pray the rosary together at that recommended time. In his message, the Holy Father wrote:

“Tomorrow we will celebrate the Solemnity of Saint Joseph. In life, in work, in the family, in joy and in sorrow, he always sought and loved the Lord, meriting Scripture’s praise as a just and wise man. Invoke him always with trust, especially in difficult moments, and entrust your existence to this great saint.

“I make my own the appeal of the Italian bishops who in this health emergency have promoted a moment of prayer for the whole country. Every family, every faithful, every religious community, all united spiritually tomorrow at 9:00 p.m. (4 p.m. Eastern time for the Washington, D.C., area) for the recitation of the rosary, with the Mysteries of Light. I will accompany you from here.

“Mary, Mother of God, Health of the Sick, leads us to the luminous and transfigured face of Jesus Christ and to His Heart. We turn to her with the prayer of the rosary, under the loving gaze of St. Joseph, custodian of the Holy Family and of our families. And we ask him to guard our family, our families, in a special way, in particular the sick and the persons taking care of the sick: the doctors, the men and women nurses, the volunteers, who risk their lives in this service.”

Pope Francis prays the rosary at the Shrine of Our Lady of Divine Love in Rome in this May 1, 2018, file photo. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)