In the midst of pouring rain in Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican, Pope Francis recently led the world in prayer for an end to the coronavirus. The prayer service began with the recitation of the scene of Jesus’ calming the ferocious storm on the Sea of Galilee that had led Jesus’ followers to think that they were about to perish. Pope Francis’ application of the lessons from that event were likened to the present situation of a world threatened by the COVID 19 pandemic.
Pope Francis prayed, “All powerful and merciful God, behold our sorrowful condition: strengthen your sons and daughters and open our hearts to hope, so that we might recognize your presence in our midst.”
The Pontiff led prayers before miraculous images of the icon of Mary “Salus Populi Romani” brought to Saint Peter’s from the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome and the Crucifix brought from the Church of Saint Marcellus in Rome. He then proceeded into the atrium of the Basilica of Saint Peter for adoration of the Holy Eucharist and a litany of prayers for God to come to the aid of his people. At the end of the prayers, Pope Francis blessed the city of Rome and the world with the Blessed Sacrament. Pope Francis was joined in prayer by people around the world tuning in via television, radio and through live-streaming on the internet.