By Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON — Acknowledging the fragility of human life because of the coronavirus, Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, shared a prayer for people who are ill with COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, and those responding to the pandemic.
“Again we are reminded of our common humanity — that the peoples of this world are our brothers and sisters, that we are all one family under God,” he said in a March 13 statement.
Reminding the faithful that God “does not abandon us,” even now in this time “of trial and testing,” the archbishop urged people to remember the importance of having hope in Jesus.
“Now is the time to intensify our prayers and sacrifices for the love of God and the love of our neighbor. Let us draw closer to one another in our love for him, and rediscover the things that truly matter in our lives,” he said.
In unison with Pope Francis, “let us pray in solidarity for our brothers and sisters here and around the world who are sick,” Archbishop Gomez said. “Let us pray for those who have lost loved ones to this virus. May God console them and grant them peace.”
He also urged prayers for doctors, nurses and caregiver and for public health officials and all civic leaders. “May God grant them courage and prudence as they seek to respond to this emergency with compassion and in service to the common good.”
The text of Archbishop Gomez’s prayer follows:
Holy Virgin of Guadalupe, Queen of the Angels and Mother of the Americas. We fly to you today as your beloved children. We ask you to intercede for us with your Son, as you did at the wedding in Cana.
Pray for us, loving Mother, and gain for our nation and world, and for all our families and loved ones, the protection of your holy angels, that we may be spared the worst of this illness.
For those already afflicted, we ask you to obtain the grace of healing and deliverance. Hear the cries of those who are vulnerable and fearful, wipe away their tears and help them to trust.
In this time of trial and testing, teach all of us in the Church to love one another and to be patient and kind. Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our land and to our hearts.
We come to you with confidence, knowing that you truly are our compassionate mother, health of the sick and cause of our joy.
Shelter us under the mantle of your protection, keep us in the embrace of your arms, help us always to know the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.