A Silicon Valley entrepreneur has created The Map of Hope – a way for the world's community of believers to join together in prayer during the coronavirus pandemic. Source: Melbourne Catholic.
The Map of Hope, created by Mike Del Ponte, is an online platform that tracks – and encourages – the spread of hope and prayer around the world. Users begin by tagging their location, which places a dot on the map, then posting their prayer intentions. The dot grows according to how many people are praying in the area.
And so far, hope has been contagious.
The platform was launched on April 28, and within its first week, the site registered more than 4,800 prayer intentions in over 130 countries, with its popularity solely reliant on word of mouth.
Based in San Francisco, Mr Del Ponte also founded socially-minded start-ups like Soma, which produces sustainable water filters, and Sparkseed, a non-profit that invests in young social entrepreneurs.
“The Map of Hope came together quickly in large part due to the feelings of sadness we all felt following the maps showing the coronavirus spreading exponentially,” Mr Del Ponte said.
“We wanted to combat this by building something that gives people hope. We designed and built the website in a few weeks. Since then, we have had 9,0000 prayer requests from 150 countries.
The site aims to strike a balance between ecumenism and focusing specifically on praying the Rosary.
“We chose the Rosary because it is simple in form but deep in reflection. It is substantial, meaning you have to dedicate around 15 minutes to completing it. And yet it is accessible. Its beautiful rhythm and repetition make the prayer approachable, whether you have prayed it your whole life or started during this pandemic crisis," Mr Del Ponte said.
“We also chose the rosary because there have been so many miracles attributed to it. We highlight some of them on www.themapofhope.com. We welcome everyone to use the Map of Hope regardless of their spiritual background.
Mr Del Ponte said Australia ranks sixth in terms of the top countries that have sent visitors to the Map of Hope.
The Map of Hope: Praying the rosary online (Melbourne Catholic)