The following links are provided for parishioners who wish to access the homily and some images from the Extraordinary Urbi et Orbi of Pope Francis on Friday evening 27 March 2020.
The blessing Urbi et Orbi (to the city and to the world) is usually only given by the Pope at Christmas and Easter. On these occasions, the Holy Father usually makes a call for peace in our world and prays for all who are working for the most vulnerable in the world.
This Extraordinary Urbi et Orbi lacked the usual crowds, colour, musical salutes and concelebrants. Instead we saw the successor of St Peter in a completely empty Piazza San Pietro leading his people in prayer and towards the blessings and courage which Christ offers. The icon of Our Lady and the crucifix from San Marcello highlighted the value of devotional images which give comfort and strength in the homes of all believers.
The time of Eucharistic Adoration which was followed around the world allowed Pope Francis to connect with many parishes in the world who have helped families to understand the beautiful Spiritual Communion.
The abiding memory for many viewers was of Pope Francis in the atrium of St Peter’s Basilica imparting the Eucharistic blessing while Church bells combined with sirens in the background. The majestic Bernini altar, the powerfully Holy Spirit window and the splendour of St Peter’s was dimmed in these moments of prayer as Christ’s presence brought hope and strength to all who received the Eucharistic blessing.
A report by Vatican News is available here
Full text of the homily of Pope Francis is available here
Pope Francis encouraged us all to pray incessantly. In a moving ceremony he extended the plenary indulgence to all who are sick with the Coronavirus, to their families, to healthcare workers and to all working to assist others at the front line. An updated list of online Masses in the diocese of Meath is available here.