Speaking from the Library of the Apostolic Palace on Sunday, Pope Francis assured “those suffering from the current coronavirus epidemic and to all those who are caring for them” of his prayers.
The Pope prayed his Sunday Angelus from the Apostolic Palace, rather than from the balcony in St Peter’s Square, at the request of Italian authorities. The notice came from the Holy See Press office on Friday, who explained that such measures were necessary in order to “avoid the risk of the spread of the COVID-19”, due to the large groups that gather at security checks for access to the Square.
The Pope explained that he dedicated much thought to those suffering from this crisis during his retreat over the past week. “I unite myself to my brothers Bishops in encouraging the faithful to live this difficult moment with the strength of the faith, the certainty of hope and the ardour of charity”, he said.
Having originated in Wuhan, China, the coronavirus has now spread all across the world. Of the over 100,000 people infected, over 3,500 have died, though the deaths of the majority of the cases has been linked to previous health issues such as cardiovascular diseases and respiratory problems.
The World Health Organisation declared the COVID-19 coronavirus a public health emergency on 30 January.
Pope Francis’ Angelus address was streamed live in St Peter’s Square and through Catholic media channels around the world.