Vatican City, Mar 11, 2020 / 05:05 am
Following prison riots in Italy, Pope Francis offered Mass for prisoners and persecuted Christians on Wednesday during his televised daily Mass.
"Today, in a special way, I would like to pray for those who are in prison, for our brothers and sisters … they suffer, and we must be near to them in prayer, asking that the Lord might help them and console them in this difficult moment," Pope Francis said March 11 at the start of Mass in the chapel of Casa Santa Marta.
Twelve inmates have died in Italy in the past three days as prison riots broke out in response to Italian government restrictions put in place to deter the spread of the coronavirus that has infected 10,000 people in the country.
The Italian government decree signed March 8 that suspended all public religious ceremonies also denied prisoners the right to receive visitors, including family members, in prisons.