When Italy went into lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pope Francis began transmitting his daily morning Mass throughout the world.
From March 9 to May 18, various Vatican Media channels and other radio and television stations have been streaming Masses celebrated by Pope Francis. For many, regardless of their religious affiliation, Lolo Kiko’s words of wisdom and encouragement have become their coping mechanism when it comes to navigating the effects of the pandemic and subsequent lockdown. (Read: The Pope’s Warning: ‘Don’t Sing Victory Too Soon’)
In order to reach more people and inspire more positivity around the world, the Vatican has compiled and published Pope Francis’ homilies from the lockdown period. The publication that comes in both print and digital formats also contains specific prayers and blessings to remind everyone to keep the faith in these trying times.
Digital Edition of Homilies
The playbacks and recordings of the Mass and summaries can be accessed through the Vatican News’ YouTube channel and web portal. A digital copy was made available on the website but readers have requested a printed version to be a keepsake of how Pope Francis and God were a source of strength during this devastating time. You can buy the printed edition through Amazon.com.
Titled Strong in the Face of Tribulation: The Church in Communion- A Sure Support in Time of Trial, the text contains blessings and prayers. It also includes the prayer with Pope Francis on March 27, as well as the decrees of the Apostolic Penitentiary on special indulgences granted because of the circumstances due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Read: Vatican Launches Streaming Site for Christian Films, Documentaries).
According to the Fr. Giulio Cesareo, editorial director of Liberia Editrice Vaticana (the Vatican Publishing House), the homilies of Pope Francis are important because they guide the spirit.
“He is a father. A spiritual guide who accompanied us as we lived that period. His homilies are precious because they are not only valid for back then. We still experience conflicts, shame, difficulties in praying,” he says. “We were perhaps more receptive and attentive to what he told us back then. But it is important to keep his words with us so as to allow ourselves to be continually nourished by the beautiful things he said that concern life.”