Pope voices support for virus victims in livestream message

09 Mars, 2020, 22:05 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Vatican confirms first case of coronavirus

Pope Francis live-streamed the Angelus Prayer on Sunday from a library inside the Vatican.

The decision to axe the public Angelus was welcomed by the Italian Government, with one spokesman saying it showed "statesmanship and leadership" by the Holy Father and was in line with restrictions adopted by the Italian government. The 83-year-old Pope did not take part in this week's annual Lenten retreat for the Roman Curia in Ariccia, 16 miles south-east of Rome.

Following the lead of the Italian government, the Vatican also announced March 8 that the Vatican Museums, the necropolis under St. Peter's Basilica and the museum at the papal villa at Castel Gandolfo would be closed until April 3 to do its part in reducing attractions that normally draw a large number of worldwide visitors to closed and crowded places.

Meanwhile, the Vatican has reported its first coronavirus case after a patient using the City State's health service tested positive for the virus.

"After 2:40 non-stop with Pope Francis, I can assure you that he is in great shape", Francois Jacolin, the bishop of Lucon, said on Twitter.

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The Vatican reiterated that at the moment only one case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in the Vatican, an "external person" who had gone to the clinics of the Directorate of Health and Hygiene for a pre-hire medical examination.

"I am close through prayer with the people who suffer from the current coronavirus epidemic", the pope said in his message, AFP said.

With my brother Aps join the faithful during this hard time, to encourage them to live in faith, hope, and charity. At the start of the broadcast, he greeted the volunteers working for Idlib present in St Peter's Square, saying: "Thank you for what you do for Idlib".

The bells of St. Peter's Basilica tolled as the window opened and Francis appeared for a few seconds to wave to the people below in the square.

Both will be held without general public participation from inside the official papal library in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace and will be viewable on the internet or television, the Vatican said in a statement on Saturday.

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