Rosary Meditations for Prayer During the COVID-19 Pandemic

On the feast of St. Joseph, Pope Francis invited the entire world to pray the rosary at 9pm Rome time, in union with him, for the current pandemic situation we find ourselves in. 

The rosary is a powerful prayer.  In Fatima, Our Lady said pray the rosary every day for peace in the world.  I’m certain Our Lady wants us to pray the rosary everyday now for the end to global health crisis.  In these rosary meditations, you will discover how we can pray with and around the current situation, by using the life of Jesus and Mary.  I hope these meditations enrich your prayer life and prove fruitful for the world. 

Joyful Mysteries

Prayed on Mondays and Saturdays. 


The angel Gabriel announces to Mary her role in salvation history.  Mary cooperates with God’s plan and obediently renders her yes to Almighty God.  During these days of quarantine, we pray for the grace to be humble and obedient to what others ask of us, so that the virus may be contained in a timely manner. 

Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth

Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth and offers the aged woman help during the last weeks of her miraculous pregnancy.  Just as Mary immediately went in haste to help, we ask for the grace to help others when their needs becomes apparent.  We also pray for those who will attend to the sick and dying—for the clergy who will anoint; the first responders who will transport; the medical professionals who will diagnose and treat.  Please protect them O Lord.

Nativity of our Lord

Mary accompanies Joseph to Bethlehem for the census which must have been a difficult journey for her since she was so close to giving birth.  We entrust all pregnant women to the Lord and Mary’s intercession; may they bring their child safely and healthily to birth.  May these families rejoice as Joseph and Mary did when they adored their child for the very first time. 

You can find more from Fr. Looney in his latest book, A Lenten Journey with Mother Mary.

Presentation of Jesus in the Temple

Simeon tells Mary that a sword of sorrow will pierce her heart.  The evangelist Luke adds that this happens so that the thoughts of many hearts might be revealed.  Mary, as our mother, understands our sorrows, anxieties, and emotions.  Let us pray for those who now mourn and are filled with sorrow, may the Lord console them and comfort them in this hour. 

Finding of Jesus in the Temple

During these days of quarantine and pandemic, we seem lost ourselves.  We are unable to worship on Sundays as a Christian community.  In these trying times, we turn to our faith and find hope.  Let us pray for people who had previously turned away from God, that in this moment of trial, they find Jesus once again, and in Him find their comfort and peace. 

Luminous Mysteries

Prayed on Thursdays

Baptism of the Lord

Jesus begins his public ministry by going to John the Baptist and asking for him to baptize him, even though John confesses that he is not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.  John prayed, “He must increase, I must decrease.”  During this time of quarantine, we pray for growth in the virtue of humility and our dependence on God for all that we have. 

Wedding at Cana

In the prayer of Pope Francis entrusting the world to Mary’s intercession during this troubling time, he said, “You 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.”  Let us ask Mary to notice the needs of our lives, families, communities, and world.  May she intercede for us now, so we can return to joy and feasting of ordinary life. 

Proclamation of the Kingdom

Jesus often proclaimed the Kingdom of God saying, “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand.”  Let us ask the Lord to give us true sorrow for our sins.  May this time of prayer, penance, and fasting help us repent and seek God’s forgiveness. 


Peter exclaimed to the transfigured Christ that it is good to be with Jesus.  In his exclamation, he expressed his desire to remain with Jesus in that moment.  Let us pray for the same grace now, to remain with Jesus in prayer so that we might know Him all the better. 

Institution of the Eucharist

Public celebration of the Eucharist has been suspended throughout the world.  The Faithful are unable to receive the Eucharist—Christ’s very body, blood, soul, and divinity.  As Jesus instituted the Eucharist on Holy Thursday, he gave His body to the disciples to eat and commanded them to do this in memory of Him.  Let us pray for our priests, who celebrate the Eucharist, continuing Christ’s mandate, but do so alone without a congregation.  And let us pray for all the faithful, that this time in which we make spiritual communions, may deepen our appreciation for the Eucharist, so we no longer will take Christ’s gift for granted. 

Sorrowful Mysteries

Prayed on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays of Lent

Agony in the Garden

After celebrating the Last Supper with His apostles, Jesus goes to the Garden of Gethsemane and prays before being arrested.  In that prayer, He prayed that all might be one.  During this time, we are united as a community in our suffering and isolation.  But as believers, we are united in our prayer to Almighty God for the containment and eradication of the corona virus.  As we suffer our own agony now, let us ask for the grace to pray as Jesus did, and as we pray, may it fulfil Jesus’ prayer for unity.    

Scourging at the Pillar

During the Passion, Jesus was beaten and tortured.  We are mindful of those who are immunocompromised and susceptible to disease.  For them, any illness can be another scourging, another blow to their health.  During this time of pandemic, we pray for their health, safety, and protection from the virus.  Please Lord spare them in this moment. 

Crowning with Thorns

While earthly rulers have crowns made of gold, the crown of our savior was that of thorns.  Jesus is the King of Life and the King of our lives.  During this time, let us pray for the grace to put Jesus at the center of our lives and allow him to be the King and Lord of all that we do.   

The Carrying of the Cross

During this time, we all have been asked by our Lord to carry new and unexpected crosses.  May our experience of the cross, help us to know suffering in a new way.  Let us walk with Jesus and from his example find our strength and courage to carry our cross.  

The Crucifixion

Jesus Christ became incarnate to be our savior.  He saves us from our sins and let us ask him to save us now from the coronavirus.  Jesus’ death on the cross defeated death.  Let us also pray for those who will die this day, especially from the coronavirus, by the blood of Jesus may they find their forgiveness and redemption.  Just as Jesus said to the Good Thief, “Today you will be with me in paradise,” may they hear similar words when they go forth to meet Christ our Lord. * 

*Please note, I do not dismiss particular judgement or the need for Purgatory but pray with hope that they will see God this day in eternal life. 

Glorious Mysteries

Prayed on Wednesdays and Sundays Outside of Lent

The Resurrection

The empty tomb on Easter Sunday is a sign of hope for all believers.  Let us pray for all who will die during this time, whether from the coronavirus or from a different illness.  May God grant consolation to their family and friends, as the Lord Jesus consoled Mary Magdalene, and may God protect and bless funeral directors and grave diggers. 

The Ascension

Before ascending to Heaven, Jesus tells the apostles to go forth and baptize, making disciples of all nations.  Let us pray for the Holy Church of God, that during this difficult time, she may strive to live this command of Jesus.  Let us pray for ourselves, that we may strive to live as faithful disciples of Jesus. 

The Descent of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles while gathered in the upper room.  Many symbols are associated with the Holy Spirit—wind, fire, and breath.  Knowing the coronavirus affects the lungs, let us pray for those unable to breathe on their own right now, that the Holy Spirit will fill their lungs with the gift of breath, life, and healing. 

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin

At the end of Mary’s life, God chose to bring her body and soul into eternal life.  Now, Mary prays for us at the hour of our death as we ask her so often in the Hail Mary.  Let us ask Mary to pray for those who are at the hour of their death. 

The Queenship of Mary

Each year we celebrate Jesus as King of the Universe.  It is quite fitting for us, to call upon Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth.  So many are devoted to Mary, her titles, and shrines.  In this time of pandemic, we turn to Mary’s intercession, asking her to obtain from her son the grace of healing for the sick and the containment of the coronavirus.  Mary, pray for us, pray for the sick and the dying, pray for our clergy and medical professionals, pray for those who are most in need. 

Photo by Maria Oswalt on Unsplash

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Fr. Edward Looney was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Green Bay in June 2015, and is an internationally recognized Marian theologian, writer, speaker, and radio personality. Author of the best-selling books, A Lenten Journey with Mother MaryA Heart Like Mary’s and A Rosary Litany, he has also written a prayer book for the only American-approved Marian apparition received by Adele Brise in 1859 in Champion, Wisconsin. He currently serves as Administrator of two rural Wisconsin parishes. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram at the handle @FrEdwardLooney.

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