Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - "To the pandemic caused by the virus, we want to respond with the universality of prayer, of compassion, of tenderness", invited Pope Francis at the end of the Angelus yesterday, Sunday 22 March, from the Library of the Apostolic Palace, as has been happening for some time due to the ongoing health emergency.
"In these trying days, while humanity trembles due to the thread of the pandemic, I would like to propose to all Christians that together we lift our voices towards Heaven - said the Holy Father -. I invite all the Heads of the Churches and the leaders of every Christian community, together with all Christian of the various confessions, to invoke the Almighty, the omnipotent God, to recite at the same time the prayer that Jesus, our Lord, taught us. I, therefore, invite everyone to do this several times a day, but all together, to recite the Our Father this coming Wednesday, 25 March, at noon, all together. On that day on which many Christians recall the annunciation to the Virgin Mary of the Incarnation of the Word, may the Lord listen to the united prayer of all of His disciples who are preparing themselves to celebrate the victory of the Risen Christ".
A second initiative was announced by the Pope himself: "With this same intention, this coming Friday, 27 March, at 6:00 pm, I will preside over a moment of prayer on the sagrata of Saint Peter’s Basilica, before the empty square. I invite everyone to participate spiritually through the means of communication. We will listen to the Word of God, we will lift up our supplication, we will adore the Blessed Sacrament, with which at the end, I will give the Urbi et Orbi blessing, to which will be connected the possibility of receiving the plenary indulgence".
Finally, Pope Francis urged "to remain united" and "to make our closeness felt": toward those persons who are the most lonely and tried, to the doctors, the healthcare workers, nurses, volunteers… to the authorities who must impose stringent measures, but for our own good, to the police, to the soldiers. Closeness to all". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 23/3/2020)