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Rome Reports

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Pope at Angelus thanks priests who have found creative ways to stay close to people

As St. Peter's Square remains closed and the streets of Rome deserted, Pope Francis prayed the Angelus from his library in the apostolic palace.

He began by thanking priests who have remained by the faithful in these difficult times, mentioning specifically those in northern Italy.

I would like to also thank all priests—the creativity of priests. I have been receiving a lot of news from Lombardy, showing this creativity. It's true. Lombardy has been hit hard. There are priests who have come up with a thousand ways to remain close to the people, so that the people do not feel abandoned.

The pope spoke on this third Sunday of Lent of Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well. He said only God can satiate the thirst found in every human heart.

If our search and our thirst find in Christ full satisfaction, then we will show that salvation is not found in “things” of this world, which in the end create thirst, but in Him, who has loved us and always loves us, in Jesus, our Savior, in the living water He offers us.

He then spoke of the need to rediscover the communion of the Church, especially in this time of quarantine and self-isolation.

United with Christ, we are never alone. Rather, we form one single body, of which He is the head. It is a union nourished by prayer and by spiritual communion with the Eucharist, a practice highly recommended for those who cannot receive the Sacrament.

To this end, the pope's daily Mass is being live streamed until further notice. Finally, Pope Francis expressed his closeness in prayer to the sick and those who care for them.

Before returning home, the pope went to the window to bless the deserted streets of Rome, and by extension, the world.