Pope Francis gave an extraordinary message “To the City and to the World” (Urbi et Orbi) on 27 March 2020 to pray for an end to the Covid-19 pandemic. "We are all on the same boat" in this crisis and we cry out to Jesus as the disciples did, "Teacher, do you not care if we perish?" Pope Francis reminded us of Jesus’ response to the disciples: “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” (Mark 4:40)
“Dear brothers and sisters, from this place that tells of Peter’s rock-solid faith, I would like this evening to entrust all of you to the Lord, through the intercession of Mary, Health of the People and Star of the stormy Sea. From this colonnade that embraces Rome and the whole world, may God’s blessing come down upon you as a consoling embrace. Lord, may you bless the world, give health to our bodies and comfort our hearts. You ask us not to be afraid. Yet our faith is weak and we are fearful. But you, Lord, will not leave us at the mercy of the storm. Tell us again: ‘Do not be afraid’ (Mt 28:5). And we, together with Peter, ‘cast all our anxieties onto you, for you care about us’ (cf. 1Pet 5:7).”
Urbi et Orbi Reflection of Pope Francis Full Text
Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
"My eyes have seen your salvation" (Luke 2:30). These are the words of Simeon, whom the Gospel presents as a simple man, "righteous and devout." Pope Francis continues to say, "You too, dear consecrated brothers and sisters, you are simple men and women who caught sight of the treasure worth more than any worldly good. And so you left behind precious things, such as possessions, such as making a family for yourselves. Why did you do this? Because you fell in love with Jesus, you saw everything in him, and enraptured by his gaze, you left the rest behind.
Religious life is this vision. It means seeing what really matters in life. It means welcoming the Lord’s gift with open arms, as Simeon did. This is what the eyes of consecrated men and women behold: the grace of God poured into their hands. The consecrated person is one who every day looks at himself or herself and says: “Everything is gift, all is grace”.
Dear brothers and sisters, let us thank God for the gift of the consecrated life and ask of him a new way of looking, that knows how to see grace, how to look for one’s neighbour, how to hope. Then our eyes too will see salvation.
On 1 January 2020, the 53rd World Day of Peace, the Community of Sant'Egidio organized its annual March for Peace, supporting the message of Pope Francis: "Peace as a journey of hope: dialogue, reconciliation and ecological conversion. "The world is our "common home" and we are all called to take care of it. There are too many wars still going on and those who suffer most of all are the poor. They have the right to peace through dialogue and reconciliation. We must also take care of all the lands wounded by the exploitation of nature that await an ecological conversion". (Sant'Egidio)