The Archbishop of Mexico City, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, is encouraging the faithful to pray to Our Lady of Guadalupe for an end to the swine flu epidemic that has taken the lives of more than 100 people in the country.
The cardinal also called for the beginning of novena prayers this past Sunday, asking "the Most Holy Mother of God, Mary of Guadalupe, to free the city and the country of this threat that looms over its inhabitants, as she has miraculously done in the past, especially during the plagues suffered in this same city in 1554, 1695, 1736 and 1850."
The prayer in its entirety reads:
Holy Mary of Guadalupe:
You love us with special tenderness,
You watch over us with maternal intercession
And you always grant us your efficacious help.
We implore your protection and aid
To quickly overcome this epidemic
That has affected our nation.
Shelter us under your mantle,
Deliver us from this illness.
Intercede for all leaders And those who must make decisions,
That they may have the wisdom to establish measures and priorities
For prevention and the assistance of the entire nation
And especially for those who are most vulnerable.
Grant us prudence and serenity
In order to act responsibly
And thus avoid being infected or infecting others.
Come to the aid of health care workers
Watch over the recovery of the infirm
And give comfort to those who are in mourning.
Mother of the True God for whom we live,
You who have rescued us from other plagues,
Commend us to the mercy of the One who healed us by his wounds
And freed us from death by his Resurrection.
Teach us to unite our suffering to his
In order to find its redemptive meaning
And to come out of this adversity
Strengthened in faith, hope and love.