Vatican City, Apr 30, 2020 / 06:15 am
Pope Francis prayed Thursday for the many people who have died as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, especially the “anonymous” victims buried in common graves.
More than 200,000 people have died worldwide in the past two months after contracting COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
In Italy, where nearly 28,000 people have died of coronavirus, funerals have been banned since March 8. Towns in northern Italy buried some bodies without a funeral and stored others in makeshift morgues awaiting the May 4 date when Italians can legally resume funerals with fewer than 15 friends and family present.
“Let us pray today for the deceased, those who died due to the pandemic, and also in a special way for what we could call the ‘anonymous deceased’. We have seen the photos of the common graves,” Pope Francis said before offering Mass April 30.
The pope’s daily Mass in the chapel of his Vatican City Residence, Casa Santa Marta, has been livestreamed every day of Italy’s coronavirus lockdown.
In his homily, Pope Francis stressed that preaching the Gospel necessitates both prayer and personal witness.
“This is the center of our apostolate, that the Father may attract people to Jesus,” Pope Francis said.
“Our testimony opens doors to people and our prayer opens the doors to the heart of the Father to draw people,” he said.