Pope Francis asked Christians to join their love for the Church with a caring concern for civil society, particularly at this time of the coronavirus pandemic.
Marking the feast day of St Catherine of Siena, Pope Francis prayed that people would be inspired by her example and asked for her intercession “to protect Italy during this pandemic” and that, as the patron saint of Europe, she would help the continent stay united.
The pope offered his prayers on 29th April at the end of his weekly general audience, which was livestreamed from the papal library in the Apostolic Palace.
In his greetings to the faithful in Italian, he said St Catherine’s communion with Christ gave her the courage and the “boundless hope that sustained her” during the darkest hours.
“Even when all seemed lost, it allowed her to influence others, even those at the highest levels in society and the Church, with the power of her faith,” he said.
“May her example help each one of us know how to unite, with Christian consistency, an intense love for the Church with an effective care for civil society, especially during this time of trial,” the pope said.
Picture: Pope Francis holds his weekly general audience on 29th April 2020, in the papal library in the Apostolic Palace. Concluding his series of audience talks about the Eight Beatitudes, the pope focused on the final one, “Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (CNS photo/Vatican Media).