DURING Easter Mass, the Pope Speaks of ‘a Contagion of Hope’ Amid Coronavirus.
Pope Francis celebrated Easter Mass in St Peter’s Basilica on Sunday morning, empty of the faithful and assisted by a handful of attendants. The Mass, sung mostly in Latin, was live-streamed for the tens of thousands who could not attend in person.
Last year, an estimated 70,000 faithful crammed into St Peter’s Square on Easter morning to hear the pope deliver his ‘Urbi et Orbi’ (‘To the City and to the World’) message after Easter Mass. But this year people are prohibited to gather in the square because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Francis acknowledged that for many, “this is an Easter of solitude lived amid the sorrow and hardship that the pandemic is causing, from physical suffering to economic difficulties,” and said his thoughts were with those directly affected by the virus: doctors and nurses, the sick, those who had died and family members in mourning.
Addressing “a world already faced with epochal challenges and now oppressed by a pandemic severely testing our whole human family,” Francis spoke of “the contagion of hope.” God is with us, he said, “firmly reassuring us: Do not be afraid, I have risen and I am with you still.”