Pope Francis on Sunday called for all Christians to respond to the coronavirus pandemic “with the universality of prayer, of compassion, of tenderness”, adding,
“Let us remain united. Let us make our closeness felt toward those persons who are the most lonely and tried”.
Speaking after the traditional recitation of the Angelus, the Holy Father called on all Christians to join together in prayer.
“In these trying days, while humanity trembles due to the threat of the pandemic,
I would like to propose to all Christians that together we lift our voices towards Heaven,” he said.
INTRODUCTION OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
TO THE LORD’S PRAYER AT MIDDAY
Wednesday, 25 March 2020
Dear brothers and sisters,
today we have gathered together, all the Christians of the world, to pray together the Our Father, the prayer that Jesus taught us.
As trustful children we turn to the Father. We do it every day, several times a day; but right now we wish to beg mercy for mankind,
so sorely tried by the coronavirus pandemic. And we do this together, Christians of every Church and Community, of every age, language and nation.
We pray for the sick and their families; for health workers and those who help them; for the authorities,
law enforcement agencies and volunteers; for the ministers of our communities.
Today many of us celebrate the Incarnation of the Word in the womb of the Virgin Mary,
when her humble and total “Behold” reflected the “Behold” of the Son of God. We too entrust ourselves,
with full confidence, to the hands of God, and with one heart and one soul we pray:
A special Urbi et Orbi blessing
The Pope also announced that on the following Friday, 27 March, he will preside over a moment of prayer on the sagrato of St Peter’s Basilica,
the platform at the top of the steps immediately in front of the façade of the Church.
“I invite everyone to participate spiritually through the means of communication”, he said.
Church grants special indulgence to coronavirus patients and caregivers
The ceremony will consist in readings from the Scriptures, prayers of supplication, and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament; and will conclude with Pope Francis giving the Urbi et orbi Blessing,
with the possibility of gaining a plenary indulgence for all those who listen to it live through the various forms of communication.
The blessing “to the City [of Rome] and to the World” is normally only given on Christmas and Easter.
The Director of the Holy See Press Office confirmed that the moment of prayer on Friday will be broadcast live from the Vatican, beginning at 6 pm Rome time.
He noted that the plenary indulgence attached to the Urbi et orbi blessing is subject to the conditions foreseen by the recent Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary.
Prayers for Croatia
At the close of his remarks following the Angelus, Pope Francis expressed his closeness to the people of Croatia,
which was struck by magnitude 5.4 earthquake Sunday morning.
The Holy Father prayed, "May the Risen Lord give them the strength and solidarity to face this calamity".