No One Dies Alone Project
According to Worldometer, a website that provides counters and real-time statistics for diverse topics, which is part of a Real-Time Statistics Project, there are 381,653 persons infected by coronavirus and 16,558 deaths as of today.
In the last past days, the situation has considerably worsened. For example: on March 19, 1080 persons die, on March 20, 1356, on March 21, 1626, on March 22, 1628, on March 23, 1873. Just in Italy we had last March 21, 793 deaths because of coronavirus, and just yesterday, 600.
But the most terrible thing is not the number of deaths but rather how they die- in isolation and complete abandonment. Thousands of people die alone every day, without the opportunity to be assisted by a priest and be surrounded by their relatives.
An Argentinian Magazine, La Nacion, brings the testimony of many people who have not seen their relatives die. The dead, sometimes, are just numbers, and the pain their families are going through is never mentioned. Family members who suddenly saw their father, mother, grandfather, uncle and brother disappear in an ambulance and were never able to see them again. And who are aware that their loved ones died alone, with no one －a wife, a son, a brother, a nephew－ to hold their hand. Without a smile, without a word of affection, not even a look of love, because it is forbidden to accompany to the hospital anyone who is positive or suspected of being positive.
A young woman, from the North of Italy, does not know if her dad －who had no health problems, but only took blood pressure pills, and suddenly began to feel tired, until his doctor detected an infectious focus in his lung and an ambulance took him away－ died in intensive care. “I don’t know if he was ever there, I just know that when I phoned the hospital for news, a doctor who was obviously very busy answered and said, ‘Madam, this is chaos. Your father is intubated and sedated in the operating room, waiting for a place to be released in intensive care’. I begged him to tell me more, it was three o’clock in the afternoon… I found out later that my dad died at 8.30 pm’ said this woman.
There is also another report in Skynews, also speaks of this big problem, people die alone: “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. 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”.
* * *
In front of this terrible panorama, Fr. Philipp Kemmy, a priest in Ireland had a wonderful idea that puts solution to this problem. He has just launched the Project “No one dies alone”.
Fr. Philipp project consists in praying the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy, for those dying alone because of Coronavirus. He says that this would make us be present and somehow transported to their bedside at the moment of their death.
This idea is taken from the life of St. Faustina Kowalska, who many times was transported in mind and affections to the bedside of dying people. In her diary she narrates these many times. She says:
“During one night, I was suddenly awakened and knew that some soul was asking me for prayer, and that it was in much need of prayer. Briefly, but with all my soul, I asked the Lord for grace for her. The following afternoon, when I entered the ward, I saw someone dying, and learned that the agony had started during the night. When I verified it – it had been at the time when I had been asked for prayer. And just then, I heard a voice in my soul: Say the chaplet which I taught you. I ran to fetch my rosary and knelt down by the dying person and, with all the ardor of my soul, I began to say the chaplet. Suddenly the dying person opened her eyes and looked at me; I had not managed to finish the entire chaplet when she died, with extraordinary peace. I fervently asked the Lord to fulfill the promise He had given me for the recitation of the chaplet. The Lord gave me to know that the soul had been granted the grace. He had promised me. That was the first soul to receive the benefit of the Lord’s promise. I could feel the power of mercy envelop that soul.
When I entered my solitude, I heard these words: 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 indulgence is the same. When this chaplet is said by 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.
Oh, if only everyone realized how great the Lord’s mercy is and how much we all need that mercy, especially at that crucial hour!” (Diary, 810-811).
She even said:
“My union with the dying is still as close as ever. Oh, how incomprehensible is God’s mercy that the Lord allows me, by my unworthy prayer, to come to the aid of the dying. I try to be at the side of every dying person whenever I can. Have confidence in God, for He is good and inconceivable. His mercy surpasses our understanding”. (880).
“I felt today how greatly a certain dying soul desired prayer. I prayed until I felt she had died. Oh, dying souls are in such great need of prayer! O Jesus, inspire souls to pray often for the dying” (1015).
“I realize more and more how much every soul needs God’s mercy throughout life and particularly at the hour of death. This chaplet mitigates God’s anger, as He Himself told me” (1036).
And on January 28, 1938, Our Lord told her:
“I delight particularly in a soul which has placed its trust in My goodness. Write that 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” (1541).
Fr. Philipp, finishes the explanation of his project:
“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”
We invite everyone to join us praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet every 3 pm.