In Easter message, Pope Francis speaks of God's comfort during COVID-19 crisis

Pope Francis focuses on those affected by the coronavirus and the people providing frontline services in livestreamed Urbi et Orbi Easter Sunday message

Pope Francis delivered his Urbi et Orbi message to an almost empty St Peter's Basilica
Pope Francis delivered his Urbi et Orbi message to an almost empty St Peter's Basilica

Pope Francis' focus in his Urbi et Orbi message on Easter Sunday was on the people around the world being affected by COVID-19.

The pope delivered his message from an almost empty St Peter's Basilica, where surrounded by only his closest collaborators, he said that the Lord had not left alone those who were suffering amid the pandemic.

“[The coronavirus] has not only deprived us of human contact, but also of the possibility of receiving in person the sacrament's consolations, particularly those of the Eucharist and Reconciliation”, the pope said.

“But the Lord has not left us alone”, he underscored, "As we unite in payer, we are certain he has laid his hand on us”.

In a historical livestreamed address, the pontiff, 83, thanked the doctors and nurses who were providing an essential service.

He acknowledged that many were also worring about what the future could hold, and about jobs being at risk, as he encouraged world leaders "to enabled everyone to lead a dignified life and, when circumstances allow, to assist them in resuming their normal daily activities."

The pope also underlined the need to prevent division from fostering, and called for "an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world."

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