Pope Francis calls for world prayer to stop coronavirus
Pope Francis called on all Christians around the world to stop at noon Italian time on Wednesday to pray the “Our Father” together.
“We want to respond to the pandemic of the virus with the universality of prayer, of compassion, of tenderness,” he said from the papal library. “Let’s remain united”.
Pope Francis also said he will this week deliver an extraordinary “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) blessing - normally given only at Christmas and Easter - and called for worldwide prayer to respond to the coronavirus crisis.
His decision to make an exception and give a special “Urbi et Orbi” blessing underscored the gravity of the situation worldwide but particularly in Italy, which has overtaken China as the country hardest hit by the virus outbreak, Reuters reported.
On Saturday Italy recorded a jump in deaths from coronavirus of almost 800, taking the death toll in the country to nearly 5,000.