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A message from Pope Francis’ Prayer to Mary during the coronavirus pandemic
O Mary, you always shine on our path as a sign of salvation and of hope. We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick, who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain, keeping your faith firm. You, Salvation of the Roman People, know what we need, and we are sure you will provide so that, as in Cana of Galilee, we may return to joy and to feasting after this time of trial. Help us, Mother of Divine Love, to conform to the will of the Father and to do as we are told by Jesus, who has taken upon himself our sufferings and carried our sorrows to lead us, through the cross, to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.
Under your protection, we seek refuge, Holy Mother of God. Do not disdain the entreaties of we who are in trial, but deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.
Extraordinary Urbi et Orbi
The blessing Urbi et Orbi (to the city and to the world) is usually only given by the Pope at Christmas and Easter. On these occasions, the Holy Father usually makes a call for peace in our world and prays for all who are working for the most vulnerable in the world.
This Extraordinary Urbi et Orbi lacked the usual crowds, colour, musical salutes and concelebrants. Instead we saw the successor of St Peter in a completely empty Piazza San Pietro leading his people in prayer and towards the blessings and courage which Christ offers. The icon of Our Lady and the crucifix from San Marcello highlighted the value of devotional images which give comfort and strength in the homes of all believers.
The time of Eucharistic Adoration which was followed around the world allowed Pope Francis to connect with many parishes in the world who have helped families to understand the beautiful Spiritual Communion.
The abiding memory for many viewers was of Pope Francis in the atrium of St Peter’s Basilica imparting the Eucharistic blessing while Church bells combined with sirens in the background. The majestic Bernini altar, the powerfully Holy Spirit window and the splendour of St Peter’s was dimmed in these moments of prayer as Christ’s presence brought hope and strength to all who received the Eucharistic blessing.
Pope Francis encouraged us all to pray incessantly. In a moving ceremony he extended the plenary indulgence to all who are sick with the Coronavirus, to their families, to healthcare workers and to all working to assist others at the front line.