Rome, Italy, Mar 23, 2020 / 09:07 am
In the past week alone, more than 3,000 people have died in Italy after contracting the coronavirus. Among the dead are at least 60 priests this month, according to local media reports.
"I pray to the Holy Spirit to give us the gift of light and strength. Everyday I do the Via Crucis asking the Lord … to carry this cross with us," Bishop Gianni Ambrosio of Piacenza-Bobbio said in an Italian interview.
Avvenire, the newspaper owned by the Italian bishops conference, published the names of 51 diocesan priests who died after contracting COVID-19, and noted that religious communities in Italy had also reported nine coronavirus related deaths.
The majority of the deceased were over the age of 70 years old, and some of these priests had underlying health conditions.