Pope Francis celebrated the Easter Vigil mass in an almost empty St Peter’s Basilica, focusing his homily on Jesus’ message of hope and gift of courage due to “the conviction that God is able to make everything work unto good.”
The Pope’s message was weaved to send a message of hope to a world ravaged by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that is keeping churches around the world closed to worshippers.
But millions followed the mass on television, radio, and other digital platforms. Because of the COVID-19 threat, the Pontiff did not baptize new Catholics as is always the norm but was joined by his closest aides to light the Paschal Candle.
Earlier, the Pope made a surprise phone call into an Italian TV show called A Sua Immagine (In His Image) to pay tribute to those involved in the fight against COVID-19.
“I am thinking of the crucified Lord and the many stories of history’s crucifixions, those of today, of this pandemic,” the Pope said.
He mentioned doctors, nurses, nuns and priests who have died while working to save the lives of COVID-19 patients.
“They died on the front lines, like soldiers, who have given their lives out of love. They are like Mother Mary who stood steadfast at the foot of the cross. They found that cross in their communities, in hospitals, treating the sick. They are the crucified of today, dying out of love,” the Pope said.