Pope Francis calls on Catholics to pray the rosary amid pandemic, other 'looming threats'

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Pope Francis called on Catholics to pray the rosary Wednesday on the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary due to the "looming threats" facing the world, according to Vatican News.

The pope noted this is especially important during the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected nearly 36 million people around the world.

“In her apparitions, Our Lady often exhorted the recitation of the rosary, especially in the face of looming threats to the world,” he said during a general audience at the Vatican, according to the outlet. “Even today, in this time of the pandemic, it is necessary to hold the rosary in our hands and pray for us, our loved ones and all people."

Pope Francis delivers his blessing from the window of his studio overlooking an empty St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on April 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Francis prayed that these efforts might make “our life, in the midst of this time of the pandemic, a loving service to all our brothers and sisters, especially those who feel abandoned and unprotected."

His remarks come just days after he laid out his vision for a post-COVID world by uniting the core elements of his social teachings into a new encyclical aimed at inspiring a revived sense of the human family.

“Fratelli Tutti” (Brothers All) was released on the feast day of his namesake, the peace-loving St. Francis of Assisi.

The document draws its inspiration from the teachings of St. Francis and the pope’s previous preaching on the injustices of the global economy and its destruction of the planet and pairs them with his call for greater human solidarity to confront the “dark clouds over a closed world.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.