In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis has “encourage everyone to rediscover the beauty of praying the Rosary at home in the month of May“.
Fr Robert is encouraging everyone to join in this initiative. For some excellent resources see here.
The Pope’s initiative is based around the Sub tuum praesidium, the oldest preserved extant hymn to the Blessed Virgin Mary as Theotokos, probably dating back to the third century (before even the New Testament reached it’s current form). For more see the wiki entry.
Sub tuum praesidium confugimus, Sancta Dei Genetrix.
Nostras deprecationes ne despiciasin necessitatibus
sed a periculis cunctis libera nos semper,Virgo gloriosa et benedicta
Listen to this version.
We fly to your protection, O Holy Mother of God;
Do not despise our petitions in our necessities,but deliver us always
from every danger, O Glorious and Blessed Virgin.
Here is an an English metrical paraphrase (776776) written by Canon Jeremy Haselock which is produced in the hope that the hymn can become popular once more.
Beneath your loving mercy,
God’s Mother, we take refuge.
Our prayers, do not despise.
In all our needs please help us,
And in all dangers save us,
O only pure and bless’d.
A Swedish translation:
Under ditt beskydd tar vi vår tillflykt, heliga Guds moder.
Ringakta inte de böner som vi ber när vi är nödställda, utan befria oss alltid från alla faror, du ärorika och välsignade Jungfru.
At the Abbaye de Lérins they sing this version of the Sub tuum praesidium in a French translation (the photo of the statue which can be seen at the beginning and end of the short film is closely related to the Sub tuum praesidium devotion):