As the world holds it’s collective breath and watches how quickly the coronavirus is spreading in China and several other countries, we are constantly being bombarded with updates as to how fast it is progressing worldwide. We have just recently heard how it has reached our shores. There are several locations in the United States, and even a couple of confirmed deaths, with more and more cases being tallied each new day.
And although we need to stay aware… be vigilant, as they like to say... Do not allow your hearts to fall into panic. There is a lot of fear mongering going on right now. It sells, and many of these all-day, all-night news channels are in the business of selling. Their focus is on what sells… not so much, on what informs. Even without the news of this new coronavirus, they have gotten a bit out of hand. It seems that every thing has to be sensationalized so as to draw in as many viewers as they can. As we watch the news, we must remember to not get caught up in the chaos that is being peddled, for that is where the devil reigns. We have got to stay calm and not forget that we are men and women of the Lord.
Dear readers, it is times like these that we must give God reign in our souls. Even if the virus comes close to our homes, and it feels as if the walls are crumbling down all around we must strive to maintain the peace of our souls. And as we all are aware… this is only possible with God and prayer.
Remember, the faithful have faced countless difficult times before and the Church has helped many a soul to find peace in the midst of a world seemingly overtaken by disease or violence. This turmoil is nothing new. It is not a novelty belonging to our generation. If we look back into the Church’s history we can easily find numerous saints who have helped the faithful who turned to them during such difficult times. Two such saints called upon for their intercession during times of plagues and illness were Saint Roch and Saint Rosalie.
St. Roch was born into a noble family. There is an account that he miraculously had a red cross on his breast at birth. At the age of 20 he gave his fortune away. He assisted plague victims throughout Italy, miraculously curing people with the sign of the cross. He contracted the disease and survived with the help of a dog. Mistaken for a spy, he was sentenced to prison and spent the rest of his life there.
According to tradition, an angel appeared in St. Roch’s cell after his death. The angel said that those who invoked his intercession would be cured of the plague.
Prayer to St. Roch
O Blessed Saint Roch,
Patron of the sick,
Have pity on those
Who lie upon a bed of suffering.
Your power was so great
When you were in this world,
That by the sign of the Cross,
Many were healed of their diseases.
Now that you are in heaven,
Your power is not less.
Offer, then, to God
Our sighs and tears
And obtain for us that health we seek
Through Christ our Lord.
(Repeat the following 3 times)
Saint Roch, pray for us,
That we may be preserved
From all diseases of body and soul.
Saint Rosalie is another saint that has shown God’s power over plague’s and illness. Not much is known about her early life, since her story actually begins about 500 years after her death.
In 1625, the city of Palermo in Sicily, Italy was suffering a terrible plague. She appeared in a vision to a hunter, telling him to go find her remains in a cave. She told him to carry her bones back into the city and to pray and do a procession with the relics. The Italian citizens processed three times with her relics through Palermo. The plague miraculously ended.
St. Rosalie became the patroness of Palermo. A sanctuary stands where the hunter found her remains.
Prayer for the Intercession of St. Rosalie
“Father in heaven, we thank You for the communion of saints so that we can draw near to You through the prayers of St. Rosalie. Through her prayers, help us to remember that our destiny is heaven.
As St. Rosalie gave up all things in this world for the sake of Your Kingdom, through her prayers, may we love more fully Your Son our Lord Jesus Christ, who together with You and the Holy Spirit are one God forever and ever. Amen.
O God, our Father, mercifully look upon Your people who come to You and grant through the intercession of St. Rosalie, who turned away from earthly delights to the joys of contemplation, that we may be delivered from all harm here on earth and one day be welcomed into the Kingdom of Heaven.
St. Rosalie, confessor and virgin, we pray to God for our families and friends. Through your powerful prayers, may we obtain health, life, and eternal salvation.
I also pray today for this special need and intention (make your intention known). O glorious virgin and confessor, St. Rosalie, I promise henceforth to remember and follow your example of faith and love. Pray for me and mine.