Instead of delivering the special Urbi et Orbi blessing (which is usually reserved for Christmas and Easter days) to a massive crowd in the Vatican, the 83-year-old pontiff was helped by another person – who eventually ended up sit several feet away.
Twitter users described the service’s photographs and images – titled “Extraordinary Prayer in the Age of the Pandemic” as “haunting,” “poignant,” and “moving.”
The images above contrast sharply with the blessings of Pope Urbi and Orbi of past years:
Francis in his service compared the coronavirus pandemic to a “unexpected and turbulent stormWhich left people feeling “fragile and disoriented” but “on the same boat”.
Globally, it has so far sickened more than 613,000 people and killed around 28,000, also placing one fifth of the world’s population in detention – including Italy, where nearly 10,000 people have died of the infection.
Discover the full service, courtesy of Vatican News, here: