Pope appeals for ’24 Hours for the Lord’ initiative

Pope Francis makes his confession during a Lenten penitential service at St. Peter’s Basilica. Photo: CNS/Reuters

HONG KONG (SE): Pope Francis is encouraging Catholics around the world to participate in the 24 Hours for the Lord initiative, and to unite themselves spiritually in those nations and regions where public gatherings are banned due to the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak.

The initiative is organised by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation, and held annually on the Friday and Saturday preceding the fourth Sunday of Lent.

A church in every diocese around the world is kept open for 24 consecutive hours. The faithful are encouraged to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation and to pray in spiritual union with the Holy Father.

However, this year, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, many places have banned public gatherings and limited some freedom of movement to stem the virus’ spread.

“Unfortunately in Rome, Italy, and in other nations this initiative cannot be held under its traditional format due to the coronavirus emergency,” Pope Francis said.

However, the pope urged people in countries without restrictions on gatherings to continue “this beautiful tradition.”

He said, “I encourage the faithful to draw near sincerely to the mercy of God in Confession and to pray especially for those suffering due to the pandemic.”

www.vaticannews.va www.vaticannews.va
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