Urbi et Orbi 27 March 2020

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This Extraordinary Urbi et Orbi lacked the usual crowds, colour, musical salutes and concelebrants. Instead we saw the successor of St Peter in a completely empty Piazza San Pietro leading his people in prayer and towards the blessings and courage which Christ offers. The icon of Our Lady and the crucifix from San Marcello highlighted the value of devotional images which give comfort and strength in the homes of all believers.

The time of Eucharistic Adoration which was followed around the world allowed Pope Francis to connect with many parishes in the world who have helped families to understand the beautiful Spiritual Communion.

The abiding memory for many viewers was of Pope Francis in the atrium of St Peter’s Basilica imparting the Eucharistic blessing while Church bells combined with sirens in the background. The majestic Bernini altar, the alabaster Holy Spirit window and the splendour of St Peter’s was dimmed in these moments of prayer as Christ’s presence brought hope and strength to all who received the Eucharistic blessing.

report by Vatican News is available here

Full text of the homily of Pope Francis is available here

Pope Francis encouraged us all to pray incessantly. In a moving ceremony he extended the plenary indulgence to all who are sick with the Coronavirus, to their families, to healthcare workers and to all working to assist others at the front line. An updated list of online Masses in the diocese of Meath is available here.