Pope Francis’ Extraordinary “Urbi et Orbi” Blessing on March 27


Image credit: Stephano Guidi (2015), Shutterstock.com

Pope Francis offers an extraordinary blessing to the world

From LaCroix International:

Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic Pope Francis has announced that he will give an extraordinary blessing “urbi et orbi” (to the city and the world) at 6 p.m. Rome time March 27.

[Editor’s Note: 6pm Rome time = 1pm ET, 12pm CT, 11am MT, 10am PT; available online on CatholicTV]

The formal blessing — usually given only immediately after a new pope’s election and on Christmas and Easter — carries with it a plenary indulgence for all who follow by television, internet or radio, are sorry for their sins, recite a few prescribed prayers and promise to go to confession and to receive the Eucharist as soon as possible.

Pope Francis made the announcement after reciting the Angelus prayer March 22 from the library of the Apostolic Palace.

He said the special blessing would be given in an “empty” St. Peter’s Square because all of Italy is on lockdown to prevent further spread of the virus.

With the public joining him only by television, internet or radio, “we will listen to the word of God, raise our prayer (and) adore the Blessed Sacrament,” he said. “At the end, I will give the benediction ‘urbi et orbi,’ to which will be connected the possibility of receiving a plenary indulgence.”

An indulgence is an ancient practice of prayer and penance for the remission of the temporal punishment a person is due for sins that have been forgiven.

In Catholic teaching, a person can draw on the merits of Jesus and the saints to claim the indulgence for themselves or offer it on behalf of someone who has died.

[Editor’s note: The Vatican Press Office has released the details of this DECREE granting special indulgences here. Read it for full details for prayers and required dispositions.]

“To the pandemic of the virus we want to respond with the universality of prayer, compassion and tenderness,” he said. “Let’s stay united. Let us make those who are alone and tested feel our closeness,” as well as doctors, nurses, other healthcare workers and volunteers.

Pope Francis also expressed concern for “authorities who have to take strong measures for our good” and the police and soldiers maintaining public order and enforcing the lockdown.

Image credit: Stefano Guidi / Shutterstock 555444547

La Croix International provides unique insights on issues that matter — in the wider world — on politics, society, religion, culture, education, and ethics. Intended for an international readership and drawn from a daily selection of key articles from La Croix, this new English language edition broadens the global reach of a news service that has already achieved a well-earned reputation for informative and engaging content with a distinctive Catholic viewpoint. La Croix International and La Croix are published by Bayard Presse.

 

All content copyright © Today’s Catholic Teacher/Bayard.com. All rights reserved. May be reproduced for classroom/parish use with full attribution as long as the content is unaltered from its original form. To request permission to reprint online, email editor@catholicteacher.com.

Devastating Loss: Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris Burns in Massive Fire


Our hearts and prayers here at Bayard, Inc. are with the people of France and with the global Church that weeps at the losses that stem from the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on April 15, 2019.

As La Croix and many news outlets have reported today, Notre Dame, the great Catholic cathedral in the middle of Paris, has suffered a catastrophic fire. Cause of the flames has not yet been established, but major renovations were taking place there. As of this writing, no injuries reported, and firefighters are on the scene.

Reporting this on-going story, and more relevant photos are found at La Croix.

We hope to bring more details here when they are known. In the meanwhile, we beseech your prayers for all those fire-fighters and first responders battling the flames, and for the many people who work and live nearby.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help, pray for us!

To donate toward the reconstruction of this religious landmark, we recommend that you use the official fundraising program, Fonds Notre Dame de Paris.

Jorge Villalba / iStock-1125820915

Prayer of St. John Paul II at Notre Dame from May 30, 1980:

Virgin Mary, at the heart of the Cité

We pray to you for this capital city.

You Intact, preserve the purity of its faith!

Virgin Mary, from the banks of the Seine,

We pray to you for the country of France.

O Mother, teach it to hope!

Virgin Mary, in this great Christian site,

We pray to you for all the earth’s people.

You, full of grace, may they be one in Love.

Source: Notre Dame Cathedral website


All content copyright © Today’s Catholic Teacher/Bayard.com. All rights reserved. May be reproduced for classroom/parish use with full attribution as long as the content is unaltered from its original form. To request permission to reprint online, email editor@catholicteacher.com.