Pope Francis called for courage and hope as he led a livestream celebration of Palm Sunday in the nearly empty St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican on April 5.
The Vatican has earlier announced that it will set aside centuries-old public celebrations of Holy Week rituals because of the threat of the disease.
In his Palm Sunday homily, Pope Francis called the pandemic a tragedy that must be faced with courage and hope.
“Today, in the tragedy of a pandemic, in the face of the many false securities that have now crumbled, in the face of so many hopes betrayed, in the sense of abandonment that weighs upon our hearts, Jesus says to each one of us: ‘Courage, open your heart to my love,'” said the pontiff.
He said the suffering of Jesus is an assurance that humanity is not alone, and that the current new coronavirus outbreak is an opportunity to love and serve others, as Jesus did.
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