, 25 March, 2020 / 11:21 AM
Pope Francis Wednesday led Christians around the world in praying an Our Father to ask God’s mercy during the coronavirus pandemic, which is causing the suffering and death of many people.
“As confident children we turn to the Father. We do it every day, several times a day; but right now, we want to beg mercy for humanity severely tested by the coronavirus pandemic,” the pope said before leading the prayer March 25.
Speaking via video livestream from the library of the Vatican’s apostolic palace, Francis noted that Christians are praying “together, Christians of every church and community, of every tradition, from every age, language and nation.”
The pope asked Christians to pray for “the sick and their families; for health workers and those who help them; for authorities, law enforcement and volunteers; for the ministers of our communities.”
He announced the united prayer March 22, saying, “in these days of trial, while humanity trembles at the threat of the pandemic, I would like to propose to all Christians to unite their voices to heaven.”
“I invite ... the leaders of all Christian communities, together with all Christians of various confessions, to invoke the Most High, Almighty God, while simultaneously reciting the prayer that Jesus Our Lord has taught us,” he said.
The ecumenical praying of the Our Father took place on the day the Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, when the Blessed Virgin Mary gave her “yes” to becoming the Mother of God.
“Today many of us celebrate the Incarnation of the Word in the womb of the Virgin Mary,” Pope Francis said. “In her ‘Here I am,’ humble and total, the ‘Here I am’ of the Son of God was mirrored.”
He led the prayer in Latin, saying “we too entrust ourselves with full confidence to the hands of God, and with one heart and one soul we pray:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen.”
ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa