POPE Francis has asked Christians worldwide to storm heaven with the Lord’s Prayer today, as a way of asking God to end the suffering caused by COVID-19.
After leading the Angelus on March 22, the Pope invited all Christians around the world to pray the Our Father at midday Rome time (9pm Brisbane time) on March 25, the feast of the Annunciation, which marks the incarnation of Jesus Christ.
The invitation came as Italy’s death toll climbed to 5,476, with reports saying nearly 800 people died the previous day alone.
The country last week exceeded the death toll in China, where the virus originated.
“In these days of trial, while humanity trembles because of the pandemic’s menace, I would like to propose to all Christians to unite their voices to Heaven,” the Pope said.
“I invite all the Heads of Churches and the leaders of all the Christian Communities, together with all the Christians of the various Confessions, to invoke the Most High, Almighty God, reciting contemporaneously the prayer that Jesus Our Lord taught us.”
The Pope also announced he would lead the world through a moment of prayer concluding with an extraordinary blessing, the “urbi et orbi”, on March 27 to anyone who could participate spiritually through television, radio, and the internet.
Anyone praying with the Pope on March 27 will have the possibility of receiving a plenary indulgence.
In Australia a total of eight people have died from coronavirus, with more than 2100 confirmed cases in the country.
The virus has caused widespread shutdowns including the total closure of churches and the suspension of sacraments including the Rite of Reconciliation, baptisms, funerals and weddings.