Vatican City, Jun 11, 2020 / 07:50 am America/Denver (CNA).
In a phone call Wednesday, Pope Francis told an archbishop in Brazil that he is praying for the country, which has become the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in Latin America.
According to Archbishop Orlando Brandes of Aparecida, Pope Francis called him June 10 and said “I am always near to you, as my heart reaches out to all Brazilians,” Vatican News reported.
After the United States, Brazil has the second-highest number of reported coronavirus cases at more than 772,000. Brazil is also ranked third in the world for deaths from COVID-19, with a 39,680 recorded as of Thursday.
In his phone call to the archbishop, Pope Francis said he was praying for the whole nation, not just Christians, Brandes said.
According to Brandes, the pope also encouraged Brazilians to find rest during this difficult time in the arms of Our Lady of Aparecida, the patroness of Brazil.