Pope Francis has given his blessing to the mass rosary prayer along the coast of Britain on Sunday April 29.
Archbishop Edward Adams, apostolic nuncio to Great Britain, said that the Pope “presents His greetings to all those persons participating in the Rosary on the Coast for Faith, Life and Peace in Scotland, England and Wales… assuring them of His spiritual closeness to them in their prayers”.
The Pope imparted his Apostolic Blessing on all who will participate in the event “as a pledge under the protection of Our Blessed Lady”.
The Rosary on the Coast follows similar mass prayer events in Ireland and Poland last year.
The organisers, who hope tens of thousands will attend, say the rosary will help combat the “present threats to faith, the dignity of the human person and to peace”, and encourage a “re-flourishing of our Faith” in the British Isles.
The event in Poland saw hundreds of thousands of Catholics gather at around 4,000 locations to commemorate the centenary of the apparitions at Fatima, and implore protection for their homeland and for the world.
But several media outlets, including the BBC, saw the event as a rallying-point for Poles opposed to mass immigration. It took place on the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, instituted after the prayer brought Europe a victory over a Muslim army at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.
Last month, Cardinal Vincent Nichols sent his best wishes to organisers of the British rosary, while Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth thanked them for their “important witness”.
Home Office refuses entry to Iraqi nun visiting sick sister
An Iraqi nun who wants to visit her sick sister in Britain has been denied a visa by the Home Office.
Sister Ban Madleen was driven out of Qaraqosh, the biggest Christian town in the Nineveh Plains, by ISIS, who took over her Dominican convent.
The letter from UK Visas and Immigration, a division of the Home Office, gives the reasons for refusing Sister Ban a visa: that she had not provided evidence of her earnings as a kindergarten principal, and that she had not provided confirmation that the Dominican Sisters of St Catherine of Siena would fund her visit. For these reasons, the letter said the clearance officer was not satisfied that she was seeking entry for a permissible purpose.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “All visa applications are considered on their individual merits and applicants must provide evidence to show they meet the requirements of the immigration rules.”
A year ago the Institute of St Anselm, a Catholic institute training priests and nuns in Margate, had to close because of problems with visa applications for foreign students.