In addition to announcing the special blessing, Pope Francis said that at a time "when humanity trembles" because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he was asking Christians of every denomination to join together at noon March 25 to recite the Lord's Prayer.
"Next Friday, March 27, at six in the evening (Italian time) I will preside over a moment of prayer on the sacristy of the Basilica of St. Peter's with an empty square", Francis said after his weekly livestream of the Angelus Prayer on Sunday.
Pope Francis at the Vatican.
"Let us pray today for those persons who are beginning to experience economic problems because of the pandemic, because they can not work", he said in his prayer intention. We will listen to the Word of God, we will elevate our prayer, we will adore the Most Blessed Sacrament, with which at the end I will give the Urbi et Orbi Blessing, to which will be annexed the possibility to receive a Plenary Indulgence.More news: Virtual Banking App Revolut Launches in the US
Pope Francis prays in S. Marcello al Corso church, where there is a miraculous crucifix that was carried in a procession around Rome in 1552 to stop the great plague in Rome on March 15, 2020, in this handout picture released by the Vatican Media. Plenary indulgences, which remit all temporal punishment due to sin, must be accompanied by full detachment from sin. However, most masses and sacraments have been banned in Italy, where the coronavirus pandemic has killed 6,078 people as of Monday, and over 60,000 are known to be infected. While the normal conditions for obtaining a plenary indulgence include sacramental Confession and Communion, during the pandemic, those conditions have been altered to when it again becomes possible. In Catholic teaching, a person can draw on the merits of Jesus and the saints to claim the indulgence for themselves or offer it on behalf of someone who has died.
"We want to respond to the pandemic of the virus with the universality of prayer, of compassion and of tenderness".
"Let us remain united".
Pope Francis said he would like all Catholics to take time today to meditate on Sunday's Gospel reading from chapter nine of the Gospel of John.More news: Trading for Kyle Allen is a great move for the Redskins roster
Reminding people to pray for the lonely, the elderly, doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers, the pope said it is also important to pray for government authorities and the police, who are trying to maintain order.
At the Angelus yesterday, he spoke of Christ as the light that brightens darkness.
The beggar's healing is a metaphor for the liberation from sin that Christ offers, he explained. Imagine if we were to pray like this.More news: Italy sees a smaller day-to-day increase in new cases