Vatican City, Mar 22, 2020 / 06:05 am
Pope Francis has asked Christians around the world to unite in praying the Our Father prayer at noon on March 25 in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“In these days of trial, while humanity trembles at the threat of the pandemic, I would like to propose to all Christians to unite their voices to heaven,” Pope Francis said March 22.
“I invite ... the leaders of all Christian communities, together with all Christians of various confessions, to invoke the Most High, Almighty God, while simultaneously reciting the prayer that Jesus Our Lord has taught us,” he said following the Angelus prayer.
March 25 is the Solemnity of the Annunciation, the date “when many Christians remember the Archangel Gabriel's announcement to the Virgin Mary of the Incarnation of the Word,” the pope said.
“May the Lord hear the unanimous prayer of all his disciples who are preparing to celebrate the victory of the Risen Christ,” he said.
More than 311,900 people have contracted COVID-19 as of March 22, according to Johns Hopkins University. The respiratory disease, which originated in Wuhan, China, has spread to 157 countries, and has led to the deaths of 13,407 people worldwide.
Pope Francis announced on Sunday that he will also preside over a moment of prayer with Eucharistic Adoration in an empty St. Peter’s Square on Friday, March 27 at 6pm in Rome in which he will give the Urbi et Orbi blessing, usually reserved for Christmas, Easter, or other special occasions.
He invited all Catholics to participate spiritually through the media and noted that all who join in this prayer will have the possibility of receiving a plenary indulgence if they meet the obligations laid out in the decree issued March 20.