Tuesday, 24 March 2020 15:39

Pope Francis asks faithful to pray "Our Father"; grants Urbi et Orbi

On March 25, 2020, feast of the Annunciation, the whole Catholic Church will be one in praying the Lord's Prayer (Our Father) as intercession for those who are sick and those who are responding all over the world to the pandemic brought about by the coronavirus. This was the invitation of Pope Francis during his Sunday Angelus (March 22) in Rome.

"In these trying days, while humanity trembles due to the thread of the pandemic, I would like to propose to all Christians that together we lift our voices towards Heaven," he said.

 Pope Francis prays the Sunday Angelus from the Apostolic Library in the Vatican l Photo Credit to Vatican News

According to Vatican News, Pope Francis also invited "the Heads of the Churches and the leaders of every Christian community, together with all Christians of the various confessions, to invoke the Almighty, the omnipotent God, to recite at the same time the prayer that Jesus, our Lord, taught us."

"On that day on which many Christians recall the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary of the Incarnation of the Word, may the Lord listen to the united prayer of all of His disciples who are preparing themselves to celebrate the victory of the Risen Christ," he said in a form of prayer.

Pope Francis also announced that on Friday, March 27, he will grant an Extraordinary Urbi et Orbi blessing which he will preside at the sagrato (churchyard) of St. Peter's Basilica.

The [Urbi et orbi] blessing “to the City [of Rome] and to the World” signifies that a papal document is addressed not only to the City of Rome but to the entire Catholic world. This phrase is applied especially to the solemn blessing with plenary indulgence which, before the occupation of Rome, the pope was accustomed to impart on certain occasions from the balcony of the chief basilicas of the city. This blessing was given annually at St. Peter's on Holy Thursday, Easter, and the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul; at St. John Lateran on the Ascension; at St. Mary Major on the Assumption.

It will start with the readings from the Scriptures, prayers of supplication, and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament with the possibility of gaining a plenary indulgence for all the faithful who will listen through various communication platforms.

The blessing will be broadcasted live in the Vatican, at 12 noon (Rome Time) and 7 p.m. (Manila Time).

The Holy See Press Office stated that the plenary indulgence attached to the Urbi et Orbi blessing is "subject to the conditions foreseen by the recent Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary." (Hazel Boquiren/SOCOM-San Juan Nepomuceno Parish and Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)



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