Pope calls for world prayer to stop coronavirus

Pope Francis
FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis speaks during his general audience as it is streamed via video over the internet from a library inside the Vatican, March 18, 2020. Vatican Media/Handout via REUTERS

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Pope Francis has called on all Christians to join in prayer as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic during the Angelus on Sunday.

Last Sunday, Pope Francis appealed to all Christians to unite together in prayer as the world faces this global pandemic, saying that he hopes “the universality of prayer, of compassion, of tenderness”, will help to unite everyone in this time of global distress. “Let us remain united. Let us make our closeness felt toward those persons who are the most lonely and tried,” he added.

“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.” The Holy Father spoke these words after the traditional recitation of the Angelus, when he once again urged all Christians to remember the strength in prayer.

Wednesday 25th March is the feast of the Annunciation. The Pope has invited “the Heads of the Churches and the leaders of every Christian community, together with all Christians 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” – the Our Father. “On that day  on which many  Christians recall the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary of the Incarnation of the Word”, Pope Francis prayed, “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”.

The following Friday 27th March, the Holy Father will lead prayers 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.

Readings from the Scriptures and prayers of supplication will be followed by the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The event will conclude with Pope Francis giving the Urbi et orbi Blessing, and all those who follow it live through various channels of communication will have the possibility of gaining a plenary indulgence. This blessing is usually only performed on Christmas and Easter.

The event will be broadcast live from the Vatical at 6pm.

At the end of his prayers, the Pope also took time to express his solidarity with the people of Croatia, after a magnitude 5.4 earthquake shook the country on Sunday morning. The Holy Father prayed, “May the Risen Lord give them the strength and solidarity to face this calamity”.

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