By Christopher Wells
In remarks after reciting the Regina Coeli, Pope Francis recalled the conclusion of the Amazon Synod, which was held in October 2019 at the Vatican, he invited the faithful to “invoke the Holy Spirit so that He might give light and strength to the Church and to society in the Amazon region, sorely tried by the [COVID-19] pandemic”.
Health care for everyone
Pope Francis prayed for the “the poorest and those who lack defenses” in the Amazon, as well as for others throughout the world. “And I plead that they may not lack health care”, he said. Reflecting off the cuff, the Pope said that saving money by not providing health care is wrong. "Persons are more important than the economy", he said. "We are temples of the Holy Spirit. The economy is not".
The witness of those caring for others
The Holy Father then noted the “National Day of Relief” in Italy, which promotes solidarity with the sick. Once again he expressed his appreciation and gratitude for caregivers who “have offered and continue to offer their witness of caring for others”.
Pope Francis then asked everyone to pray in silence to pay tribute to and pray for all those who have given their lives during the Covid-19 crisis: doctors, nurses and all health care personnel.
We need the Holy Spirit
On Pentecost Sunday, which commemorates the sending of the Holy Spirit, Pope Francis spoke of our need for “the light and strength of the Holy Spirit”. “The Church needs it to walk harmoniously and courageously in the witness of the Gospel”, he said. “And the entire human family needs it so as to move out of this crisis more united and not more divided”.
In bidding farewell, Pope Francis left with his signature words: "Please, do not forget to pray for me. Enjoy your meal and arrivederci." Then he added spontaneously, "in this Square!"