VATICAN CITY, March 23: Pope Francis has urged all Christians to unite in prayer on March 25 as a response to the global coronavirus pandemic.
During the Angelus prayer on Sunday, he urged the faithful to come together praying Our Father on Wednesday at noon "with a pandemic of prayer, of compassion, of tenderness", reports Efe news.
"Let us remain united. Let us make our closeness felt toward those persons who are the most lonely and tried. In these trying days, while humanity trembles due to the threat of the pandemic, I would like to propose to all Christians that together we lift our voices towards Heaven," the pontiff added.
For this purpose, the Pope 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" the Our Father on Wednesday, the feast of the Annunciation.
"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." Pope Francis continued.
Two days later on Friday, the Pope will preside over a moment of prayer in St. Peter's Square at 6 pm.
"I invite everyone to participate spiritually through the means of communication," he said.
Pope Francis will offer readings from the Scriptures, prayers of supplication, and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and will conclude with giving the Urbi et Orbi Blessing.
Pope Francis offered his homily and prayed the Angelus from the Vatican Library Room which was broadcast live.
He finished by looking out onto a deserted St. Peter's Square.
The Vatican has banned the entry of people until April 3.
In terms of coronavirus fatalities, Italy surpassed China, where the virus had orginated last December.
As of Monday morning, Italy has a total of 59,138 cases with 5,476 deaths, according to the latest updates by the US-based John Hopkins University. - IANS