LEICESTER, United Kingdom – One of Ireland’s top prelates has called for a “Family Rosary Crusade” to battle the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

“I invite families all over Ireland to pray the Rosary together at home each day for God’s protection during this time of coronavirus,” said Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland.

October is the traditional month dedicated to the rosary in the Catholic Church.

The Republic of Ireland has had 33,675 cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic in March, with 1,794 deaths attributed to the disease. Northern Ireland has seen 9,761 cases and 577 deaths.

The entire island of Ireland has seen a slight uptick in cases in recent weeks, leading to a reimposition of some restrictions by both the Irish and Northern Irish governments to try and stop the spread of the disease.

“These past six months have reminded us of the importance of the “domestic Church” – the Church of the sitting room and kitchen – the Church that meets every time a family stands or kneels down, or sits down to pray together!” Martin said in a statement.

“It has also helped us realize how important is the vocation of parents to be the primary teachers and leaders of their children in faith and prayer,” he continued.

During the Family Rosary Crusade, Martin is call on Irish families to pray at least a decade of the rosary each day during October.

“Pray for your own family and loved ones and for all those whose health or livelihood is being seriously impacted by the coronavirus crisis,” he said.

Follow Charles Collins on Twitter: @CharlesinRome