DUBLIN — Marian shrines in more than 50 countries throughout the world will join in a 24-hour Rosary initiative Friday to intercede for and honor the priestly vocation.

“It is an opportunity for us to raise our hearts to God for all priests in the exercise of their ministry,” World Priest, which organizes the event, said in a statement.

“Each of the participating shrines in 50-plus countries prays a particular mystery of the Rosary at a particular half-hour on the day in thanksgiving to God for our priests and to implore the protection and loving care of Our Lady, Mother of All Priests.”

The “Global Rosary Relay” began nine years ago as an initiative of World Priest, an apostolate aimed at uniting priests and the laity in prayer. More than 150 Marian shrines and parishes — including some 35 in the U.S. — will host the Rosary June 8, coinciding with the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.  

Scheduled for every half-hour throughout the day, each shrine will pray a particular mystery of the Rosary, collectively imploring the Blessed Mother’s intercession for a full 24 hours.

“With the coming of midnight on June 8, 2018, the entire world, by then, will have been encircled in prayer for our priests on this ‘Annual Rosary Relay Day,’” the organization said.

Those who cannot visit a participating shrine are encouraged to pray the Rosary on their own or with a group.  

The organization explained that the Rosaries are offered for priests, “that they will be blessed, through our prayers, with God’s grace for their priesthood; that in this worldwide communion of prayer for them, they may experience our gratitude and support; and, finally, that they will persevere in unity with Christ and his Church and shepherd the Lord’s flock to the safe pastures of his Kingdom.”

Founded in 2003 by entrepreneur Marion Mulhall, World Priest was established in response to Pope John Paul II’s announcement of a “World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests.” The organization works to support and promote the dignity and gift of the priesthood through efforts such as the “Global Rosary Relay.”

In 2016, the relay concluded the three-day Jubilee for Priests. The president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization led the final Rosary in St. Peter’s Square that day.

Mulhall said that event and her meeting with Pope Francis were a great affirmation of her project’s efforts on behalf of priests.

“I can still hardly believe this has happened and that our apostolate in support of priests has received such supreme recognition and blessing,” she said.

“I wonder how this meeting will enhance our apostolate in the future? What blessings will be bestowed upon World Priest in the years ahead?”

Find more information on the rally here.

EWTN will air its live participation of the Joyful Mysteries at 8:30 CT/9:30 ET, with an reairing Friday afternoon.