Pope’s lockdown sermons published

A collection of Pope Francis’s lockdown sermons, prayers and other messages has been published by the Vatican.

“Strong in the Face of Tribulation: The Church in Communion – A Sure Support in Time of Trial,” also includes resources for times when physical access to the sacraments is not possible, plus other Church blessings and prayers.

Pope Francis “is a father, a spiritual guide who accompanied us as we lived that period [of lockdown],” says Fr. Giulio Cesareo, editorial director of the Vatican Publishing House, which published the book.

Cesareo says Francis’s lockdown sermons, prayers and comments “are precious because they are not only valid for back then.”

“We still experience conflicts, shame, difficulties in praying. We were perhaps more receptive and attentive to what he told us back then,” he says.

“But it is important to keep his words with us so as to allow ourselves to be continually nourished by the beautiful things he said that concern life.”

During Italy’s 10-week lockdown, Francis live streamed his morning Mass each day, opening it offering a prayer intention related to the health crisis.

Afterwards, he would lead those following the Mass from home in making an act of spiritual communion, and hold around 10 minutes of silent adoration of the Eucharist.

Francis also connected with people all over the world through a live televised prayer service, which he held in an empty St. Peter’s Square to pray for the world during the pandemic.

The holy hour which concluded with an extraordinary Urbi et Orbi blessing had a reading from the Gospel and a meditation by Francis.

In this, he spoke about faith and trust in God during a time when people fear for their lives, as did the disciples when their boat was caught in a violent storm.

“We have an anchor: by his cross we have been saved. We have a rudder: by his cross we have been redeemed. We have a hope: by his cross we have been healed and embraced so that nothing and no one can separate us from his redeeming love,” he said.

The meditation and prayers from that holy hour and blessing are among those included in the new publication.

The paperback edition of “Strong in the Face of Tribulation: The Church in Communion – A Sure Support in Time of Trial,” is available on Amazon.com.

A free-of-charge PDF version is also available.


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