Pope Francis again today offered his private daily Mass at his residence Casa Santa Marta for the victims of Coronavirus, praying today especially for families during this time of quarantine.
The Masses in Francis’ chapel normally welcome a small group of faithful, but due to recent measures’ taken by the Vatican, are now being kept private, without their participation.
It was announced in recent days that the Pope would have these Masses, in this period, be available to all the world’s faithful, via streaming on Vatican Media, on weekdays, at 7 am Rome time.
This comes at a time too when the Italian bishops’ conference has canceled public Masses throughout the nation, until at least April 3rd, following guidelines put out by Italian authorities. The entire country is on lockdown.
Again during today’s Mass, the Holy Father expressed his closeness to those suffering, the elderly, and all those working to contain and cure the virus.
In his homily, the Holy Father commented on today’s readings from the Book of Kings (2 Kings 5:1-15 and Luke’s Gospel (Luke4: 24-30), reported Vatican News.
“I am thinking of families who are cooped up,” the Holy Father began his homily saying.
While lamenting the seriousness of the virus, Francis looked on the bright side: “It’s a beautiful opportunity to creatively rediscover affection.”
“May the Lord,” he prayed,” help them to discover new ways, new expressions of love, of living together in this new situation.”
He invited faithful watching him via streaming to join him in praying “for families so that the relationships within the family at this moment might flourish always for the good.”
In addition to Santa Marta, the Vatican is taking other steps to discourage crowds and keep people safe. They are televising the Pope giving privately, from the papal library, his weekly Angelus and General Audience addresses.
Moreover, the Vatican Museums are now closed, along with the Vatican’s other similar museums. There have also been various guidelines implemented throughout the Vatican, to prevent the spread of the virus.
To date, one person, an external visitor, has been tested positive for Coronavirus in the Vatican. The five people the individual had contact with, are being quarantined.
For anyone interested, the Pope’s Masses at Santa Marta can be watched live and can be watched afterward on Vatican YouTube.