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March 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Inspired by news that due to severe quarantine restrictions people succumbing to the coronavirus in Italy are dying separated from family and friends, a Catholic priest sent out an appeal to believers to daily “spiritually place ourselves beside one of the poor unfortunate men and women who are dying alone in hospitals all over the world because of this virus.”
The families of the dying can’t say goodbye, hold their loved ones’ hands, or pray with them because everyone is quarantined. And so thousands are dying alone – utterly alone and scared in their final hours.
More than 6,000 in Italy and more than 10,000 worldwide so far.
LifeSiteNews was forwarded a touching proposal conceived by Fr. Philip Kemmy, a priest in Ireland who suggests that we each commit to praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet each day with a very specific intention in mind.
Fr. Kemmy explained:
Earlier this evening I was reading a news report on the SkyNews website which, quoting a doctor in a hospital in Italy, had the headline: “Everyone Dies Alone.” It was a very sobering and tragically sad report, describing how, because they have to be isolated, those suffering and slowly dying from Covid19 meet their end without the comfort and consolation of their relatives and loved ones. The medical staff do what they can, but they are overwhelmed by the task that lies before them. When I read that headline, immediately I was stirred to begin this little project.
Inspired by a scene in the Diary of St. Faustina, where she was spiritually transported by the Lord in order to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy at the bedside of a dying man she did not know, I would like to suggest that we would each commit to praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet each day for the days ahead to spiritually place ourselves beside one of the poor unfortunate men and women who are dying alone in hospitals all over the world because of this virus, some of whom are perhaps not well prepared spiritually for their earthly end. If families were to pray it then several dying persons would be spiritually adopted with the one prayer of the Chaplet.
Praying the Chaplet for the dying, we will petition Jesus to enfold them in his Merciful Love in their final hours and grant them a strong experience of his consoling presence before they take their leave of this life. This would be a great act of mercy and love for those who are victims of this virus and who are approaching their end.
Please consider taking part in this project. There is no need to sign up to anything. It is a simple movement which, please God, will bear enormous fruit for the souls for whom we pray. I would appreciate it if you were to pass this on to others you know who might be willing to take up this spiritual work of mercy. In the final weeks of Lent it would be a good spiritual practice to incorporate into our prayer routine.
Yours in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary,
Doctors and nurses hold back tears over anguish for their scared, lonely patients
The Sky News report, “Everyone Dies Alone,” reveals how the healthcare system in Italy has been stressed to the breaking point. Overworked hospital staff are exhausted after working 12-hour days for many weeks.
“Time and again doctors and nurses hold back tears as they describe the anguish they feel for their patients who are dreadfully scared and lonely in their last hours,” according to Sky News. “The only care and kindness comes from the medical staff — strangers who are trying, but often failing, to save them.”
Sky News Correspondent Stuart Ramsay, who confessed that it was “genuinely heartbreaking covering this story,” recounted his experience visiting Cremona Hospital in Lombardy, Italy:
We passed room after room full of coffins. At the end of a corridor, he opened a door and gestured that we go inside what I could see was a church.
I didn't understand, but as we turned the corner we were confronted by more rows of coffins.
There are so many dead at the Cremona Hospital in Lombardy that they have to use the church to store the bodies before they are picked up and taken away to be cremated.
Their families haven't been able to pay their last respects or say goodbye. They can't because they are in lockdown quarantine.
It's a recurring theme now, everyone dies alone.
Read the full report and watch the video here.
Unfathomable mercy envelops the soul
Fr. Kemmy recalled God’s words to St. Faustina:
At the hour of their death, I defend as my own glory every soul that will say this chaplet; or when others say it for a dying person, the pardon is the same.
When this chaplet is said beside the bedside of a dying person, God’s anger is placated. Unfathomable mercy envelops the soul, and the very depths of my tender mercy are moved for the sake of the sorrowful passion of my Son.
And Jesus said to St. Faustina:
When they say this chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between my Father and the dying person, not as the just judge, but as the merciful Savior.
The Divine Mercy Chaplet
If you are unfamiliar with the Divine Mercy Chaplet, it is recited using a Rosary:
You expired, Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls,
and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world.
O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy,
envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us.
Repeat 3 times:
O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of Mercy for us, I trust in You!
Hail Mary and
The Apostle's Creed
For each of the five decades (On each “Our Father” bead of the rosary), pray:
Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
On each of the 10 “Hail Mary” beads, pray:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Concluding prayer (Repeat 3 times):
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury
of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase
Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.