VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis admitted he wasn’t a pharmacist, but he didn’t hesitate being the spokesman for the heart-healthy benefits of 59 little pills strung together: the rosary.
“I want to recommend some medicine for all of you,” the pope said Nov. 17 at the end of his Sunday Angelus address. “It’s a spiritual medicine.”
Holding up a white medicine box with an anatomical drawing of the human heart on it, Pope Francis told some 80,000 people gathered for the midday prayer that the boxes contained a rosary.
“Don’t forget to take it,” he said. “It’s good for your heart, for your soul, for your whole life.”
Praying the rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet will help people reap the fruits of the Year of Faith, he said, because they are “a spiritual aid for our soul and for spreading love, forgiveness and brotherhood to everyone.”
Volunteers, led by Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, director of papal charities, gave away about 20,000 boxes containing a rosary, a Divine Mercy holy card and a medical-style instruction sheet.
In addition to describing how to pray the rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet, a devotion begun by St. Faustina Kowalska, the information sheet states categorically that no negative side effects have been reported.
The sheet recommends daily use of the beads for both adults and children, but adds that it can be repeated as often as necessary. It also notes that receiving the sacraments increases the efficacy of the prescription and that further information and assistance can be received from any priest.
The Swiss Guards, their family members and the Albertine Sisters who work in their barracks spent weeks in October, the month of the rosary, preparing the boxes and inserting instructions in Italian, French, English or Polish. Archbishop Krajewski got the idea from Archbishop Slawoj Glodz of Gdansk, Poland; a seminarian in Gdansk had made similar boxes for youths attending a retreat.
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103