17 March 2020
The Pope: "May God help families rediscover true affection at this difficult time."
Once again the thoughts of Pope Francis--in this present time dominated by the fear and isolation of the ongoing coronavirus epidemic--are turned towards the family. Introducing the Eucharistic celebration of 16 March at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis said: "I think of families, closed up, the children not going to school, perhaps the parents cannot go out, and some will be in quarantine. May the Lord help them to find new ways, new expressions of love and shared life in this new situation." Which, he added, "is a beautiful opportunity to creatively rediscover true affection in the family." "Let us pray for the family," he reiterated, "so that relationships within the family at this point in time may always flourish for the good."
The following day, the Holy Father asked instead for prayers for the elderly, who in these circumstances are at a greater risk since the disease is more worrisome for them, and also because the isolation in which many of them are living can become an even heavier burden. "I would like," said the Pope, "to pray today for the elderly, who at the moment suffer in a special way with a tremendous interior loneliness, and, at times, with a great deal of fear. Let us pray that the Lord will be close to our grandfathers, our grandmothers, and to all of the elderly, and that he will give them strength. They gave us wisdom, life, and history. And so we are also close to them in prayer.