The Pope urged pilgrims gathered in the square below to ask themselves whether they were truly committed to serving the neglected or simply sought “personal gratification” like Jesus’ disciples on that occasion.
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Arguing that life’s greatest disease was not cancer, tuberculosis, or the coronavirus, Pope Francis said the most "serious illness in life is a lack of love, and not being able to love."
Cardinal Mario Zenari, the Vatican’s diplomat in Syria for the past 13 years, has said that after nearly a decade of war, the Syrian people had now been hit with a “poverty bomb” amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking to the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis said that Christians are called to experience an encounter with Jesus so that “illuminated by his light, we might take it and make it shine everywhere.”
Due to the global coronavirus outbreak, Pope Francis prayed the midday Marian prayer via live video from his library in the Vatican’s apostolic palace.
The Syrian city of Idlib has been the focus of sustained attacked from forces loyal to President Bashar al Assad.
Originating in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the virus has spread to nine countries with 1,975 confirmed cases.
In his catechesis, the pope reflected on the first chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, when St. Joseph and the Virgin Mary are betrothed but not yet living together as husband and wife, and Mary becomes pregnant by the Holy Spirit.