The Pope Francis gave today a historic blessing “Urbi et Orbi” -to the city and to the world – in solitude, from a St. Peter’s square at the Vatican, totally empty as a result of the emergence of the coronavirus, which has caused in Italy for more than nine thousand deaths.
“For the last few weeks it seems that everything has darkened. Dense darkness has covered our squares, streets, and cities”
In a deserted square, wrapped in silence and wet from the incessant rain, Jorge Bergoglio gave it to the catholic faithful of the world for a ceremony unprecedented, a homily, and a blessing later that the catholic believers had to follow it through the media.
The Holy See has ordered the closure until April 3, the square and the basilica of St. Peter, as a precautionary measure against the spread of this pandemic, which has already left at least five positive cases in the interior of the Vatican.
The blessing “Urbi et Orbi“he teaches regularly on three occasions: when the Pope is elected the successor of Peter, the 25 of December for Christmas and Easter, at the end of the rituals of Holy Week… but it is also offered in very specific occasions, as in 1942, when Pius XII took the occasion of the Jubilee of his episcopal and of the XXV anniversary of the apparitions of Fatima.
Pope Francis wanted to have now an extraordinary gesture when the world suffers the expansion of this virus that has claimed already the lives of more than 25 thousand people at a global level.
“For the last few weeks it seems that everything has darkened. Dense darkness has covered our squares, streets, and cities; they were make use of our lives, filling all of a silence that is deafening and empty wasteland that paralyzes all in its path: it throbs in the air, you feel it in the gestures, what they say the looks. We are scared and lost,” the Pope said at the start of your homily.
This Friday has been a meeting place of universal prayer, which proposed the own Jorge Bergoglio the last Sunday after the recitation of the Angelus and has had another particular characteristic: all catholics have had the opportunity to obtain the plenary indulgence, as recently established Francisco in the decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary.
In this document, the Pope granted indulgences to all patients with coronavirustheir families , who would care, and everyone who prays “to order the cessation of the pandemic, the relief of suffering and the eternal salvation of the deceased”.
The unprecedented ceremony in the Vatican began at 18:00 local time, when the Pope went in silence from the stairs of the square, at the vatican towards the tabernacle where he offered a homily.
After, he approached slowly towards the central door of the basilica of the Vatican to pray before the image of the Virgin Salus Populi Romanithat usually is kept in the Basilica of Santa Maria maggiore, and also the crucified Christ from the Church of San Marcello, to whom the Pontiff prayed on march 16, leaving a memorable photograph, a walk through a Rome empty, its people confined in their homes.
This Christ was carried in procession in 1522 by Rome to ask for the end of the plague that was ravaging the city, and since then it has been carried in procession to San Pedro each year sacred, around every 50 years.
In the homily, which offered moments before in the square, Francis dedicated a few words to the “doctors, nurses, in charge of replacing the products in the supermarkets, cleaners, caregivers, shippers, security forces, volunteers, priests, sisters,” and all those “who understood that no one is saved alone”.
They said that are example of courage and generosity because “in the face of fear, have reacted by giving his own life”.
They are “ordinary people -currently forgotten – which do not appear on the covers of newspapers and magazines, or on the great catwalks of the last show, but, no doubt, are writing today the decisive events of our history,” she said.
He also had a special remembrance for the “fathers, mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers, teachers,” who teach the children, “with small gestures and everyday life, how to confront and navigate a crisis repurposing routines, lifting eyes and promoting the prayer”.
And invited all of humanity to reflect in the midst of this crisis about the importance of fraternity and solidarity, against the individualism and selfishness.
Believed that people have advanced for years feeling “strong and capable of everything, greedy for profits,” asleep “before the wars and injustices”, without listening to the poor and the sick, and thinking that they were “always healthy in a sick world”.
On the 25th of march, all the faithful of the world were summoned by the pope to pray together “Our Father”.