In the Urbi et Orbi blessing, Pope Francis noted that “once again this year, in various places many Christians have celebrated Easter under severe restrictions and, at times, without being able to attend liturgical celebrations.”
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The new book, Why Are You Afraid? Have You No Faith?, is being released around the world in several languages through a collaboration between the Vatican Publishing House and the French publisher Bayard.
Pope Francis delivered his Urbi et Orbi Easter message to an audience online as the coronavirus keeps the faithful at home.
The crucifix was venerated as miraculous by Romans after it was the only religious image to survive unscathed from a fire that completely gutted San Marcello al Corso May 23, 1519.
“And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
At the conclusion of the prayer, Pope Francis gave an extraordinary Urbi et Orbi blessing, and gave benediction with the Blessed Sacrament while the bells of the basilica rang.
The theme of mercy, areas of conflict in the Middle East and Africa, and persecuted Christians figure highly in this year's message.
'From the risen Lord we ask the grace not to succumb to the pride which fuels violence and war, but to have the humble courage of pardon and peace.'