By Deborah Castellano Lubov

This “24 hours for the Lord”–Pope Francis acknowledges–will be different…

In the midst of the Coronavirus increasingly causing more lockdowns, Francis is inviting faithful, where unable to participate, to join with their heartfelt personal prayer.

During his virtual General Audience today, March 18, Pope Francis invited everyone to join the annual tradition, planned for March 20-21, 2020, communally if possible and in personal prayer, if they are confined because of the Coronavirus.

While praising it as an “important Lenten event to pray and approach the sacrament of reconciliation,” the Pope recognized: “Unfortunately, in Rome, Italy and other countries this initiative cannot be carried out in the usual ways due to the emergence of the Coronavirus.”

In some other parts of the world, the Pope continued, “this beautiful tradition will continue” and encouraged the faithful of those places “to approach the mercy of God in confession in a sincere way and to pray especially for those who are being tested because of the pandemic. ”

“Where it is not possible to celebrate 24 hours for the Lord,” Pope Francis prayed, “I am sure that this penitential moment can be lived through personal prayer.”

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Read More: Vatican News