COVID-19: The Pope’s closeness to those who are suffering
By Vatican News
Every morning, in the Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis dedicates his Mass to particular groups of people who are suffering the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
For the homeless
Most recently, on Tuesday, he prayed “for those who are homeless”:
“At this moment in which everyone is supposed to be at home, may society, men and women, realize this reality and help them, and that the Church might welcome them.”
For those who fear
On Monday 30 March, the Pope’s intention was “for the many people who are not succeeding in coping and remain in fear because of the pandemic”:
“May the Lord help them to have the strength to cope for the good of society and the entire community.”
On Thursday March 26, the Pope had already turned his attention to the fear that often accompanies suffering:
“The fear of the elderly who are alone in nursing homes, or hospitals, or in their own homes, and don't know what will happen. The fear of those who don’t have regular jobs and are thinking about how to feed their children. They foresee they may go hungry. The fear of many civil servants. At this moment they're working to keep society functioning and they might get sick. There’s also the fear – the fears – of each one of us. Each one knows what their own fears are. We pray to the Lord that He might help us to trust, and to tolerate and conquer these fears.”
For those who weep
On Sunday 29 March, Pope Francis began the liturgy saying he was thinking “of the many people who are weeping, people who are isolated, in quarantine, the elderly; people who are alone, in hospital, parents who do not foresee receiving their salary and do not know how they will feed their children”…
“Many people are weeping. We too, from our hearts, accompany them. It wouldn’t do us any harm to weep a bit as our Lord wept for all of His people”.
For those who suffer hunger
On Saturday 28 March, the Pope prayed for those suffering from hunger because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We're beginning to see people who are hungry because they can't work. They may not have had a regular job, and from many other circumstances. We're beginning to see the aftermath that will come later. But it's beginning now. We pray for the families who are beginning to find themselves in need because of the pandemic”.
For those who pray
During his morning Mass on Friday 27 March, Pope Francis noted that the difficult times we are facing have inspired in many people a more general concern for others: for families that don’t have enough to get by, for the elderly who are alone, for the sick in hospitals. They are praying for others, “that help might somehow arrive”.
“This is a good sign, and we thank the Lord, who is arousing these sentiments in the hearts of the faithful”.
For those in difficulty
The Pope is also aware of the suffering of those families facing financial difficulties. On Monday 23 March, he prayed especially for them:
“Let us pray today for those persons who are beginning to experience economic problems because of the pandemic, because they cannot work… All of this affects the family. We pray for those people who have this problem.”
For medical personnel
The Pope has expressed his admiration for medical personnel and those who risk their lives caring for coronavirus patients. Before Mass at the Casa Santa Marta on Tuesday, 24 March, he said:
“I received the news that in these days, a number of doctors and priests have died, I don't know if there were a few nurses. They were infected…because they were serving the sick. Let’s pray for them, for their families. I thank God for the example of heroism they give us in caring for the sick.”
Urbi et orbi prayer
Before imparting his Urb et orbi blessing in St Peter’s Square on Friday 27 March, Pope Francis prayed that we might “hand over our fears” to the Lord, so that “He can conquer them”:
“Because this is God’s strength: turning to the good everything that happens to us, even the bad things. He brings serenity into our storms, because with God life never dies.”
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