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Pope Francis' words on hope and courage during COVID-19 pandemic


During the coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis has been offering encouragement to the world. 

From praying the Our Father with Christians of every denomination, to imparting an extraordinary Urbi et Orbi blessing, he has accompanied each action with powerful words about keeping hope and courage alive.

HOPE 

Pope Francis reminds Christians of their identity and that God is never-changing, even during this time.

POPE FRANCIS
Palm Sunday Mass - April 5, 2020
So that when we have our back to the wall, when we find ourselves at a dead end, with no light and no way of escape, when it seems that God Himself is not responding, we should remember that we are not alone. Jesus experienced total abandonment in a situation he had never before experienced in order to be one with us in everything. He did it for me, for you, to say to us: “Do not be afraid, you are not alone.”

POPE FRANCIS
Santa Marta - April 2, 2020
We are Christians because we were chosen. In this election, there is a promise. There is a promise of hope. The sign is fruitfulness.

He recalls that going from the season of Lent to Easter, and Jesus' death to resurrection, Christ remains the hope for Christians.

POPE FRANCIS
Urbi et Orbi Blessing – March 27, 2020
The Lord asks us from His cross to rediscover the life that awaits us, to look toward those who look to us, to strengthen, recognize and foster the grace that lives within us. Let us not quench the wavering flame that never falters, and let us allow hope to be rekindled.

POPE FRANCIS
Urbi et Orbi – April 12, 2020
This is a different type of “contagion.” It's a message transmitted from heart to heart – for every human heart awaits this Good News. It is the contagion of hope, “Christ, my hope, is risen!” This is no magic formula that makes problems vanish. No, the resurrection of Christ is not that. Instead, it is the victory of love over the root of evil, a victory that does not “by-pass” suffering and death, but passes through them.

He doesn't play down the difficulties and suffering, but says in order to face them, courage is also needed. 

COURAGE 

Pope Francis asks people not to give up in this time. He says to remember that God is bigger than any problem that could arise. 

POPE FRANCIS
Easter Vigil – April 11, 2020
Sister, brother, even if you buried hope in your heart, don't give up! God is greater. Darkness and death don't have the last word. Courage, with God nothing is lost!

POPE FRANCIS
Easter Vigil – April 11, 2020
If you are weak and fragile on the way, if you fall. Do not be afraid! God holds out your hand and says to you: "Courage!" You cannot give it to yourself, but you can receive it as a gift. Just open your heart in prayer, just lift that stone placed at the mouth of the heart a little, to let the light of Jesus enter. Just invite Him, "Come, Jesus, into my fears and say to me too, Courage!"

Pope Francis gives a daily message like this each morning, when he celebrates Mass. His advice transmits globally, since he live-streams each of his public appearances. It is another way he is living out his pastoral call as the shepherd of the Roman Catholic Church and a spiritual leader in a world with an uncertain future.

Melissa Butz