Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic started, Pope Francis has been recognizing, thanking, and praying for specific groups of people in his homilies and general audiences.
Previously, he has prayed for all the health workers who are hard at work and dedicated to helping COVID-19 patients get better. Pope Francis has also prayed for media workers who have continuously been reporting the situation and updating the public of their countries’ responses to the pandemic.
Now, the Holy Father is thanking artists. In an online Mass on Thursday, May 7, the Pope mentioned that he received a letter from a group of artists who thanked him for his prayers for them.
“I would like to ask the Lord to bless them because through artists, we understand beauty, and without beauty, we cannot understand the Gospel,” the Pope said. Lolo Kiko also added that artists are the ones who elucidate our “silent groans,” which taps into people minds and emotions.
Swans for Relief
With the pandemic forcing businesses to shutter, numerous artists are finding it difficult to pay their bills and living expenses. For example, dancers who rely on ticket sales to support themselves and their families are struggling because opera houses, museums, and other cultural centers are closed due to lockdowns and quarantines.
To help fellow artists get by during these times, American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Misty Copeland and former colleague Joseph Phillips launched the “Swans for Relief” project.
Swans for Relief is a fundraiser video performance by 32 ballet dancers from 14 different countries. It includes Ballet Philippines’ principal dancers, Denise Parungao and Jemima Reyes.
Jemima, 25, is also the teacher for My Pope Philippines’ online ballet classes initiative.
The project is hoping to raise $500,000 for artists who are struggling to pay for their bills amid the quarantine. All of the funds raised will be given to the dancers’ companies for their relief efforts for their dancers.
You may send in your donations through this link.