Pope Fancis called on the faithful at the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday, not to lose hope in the protracted coronavirus crisis.
“In the hour of darkness when humanity is grappling with the pandemic and other ills, Christians need to take to heart the Easter message of the angel not to be afraid,’’ the 84-year-old head of the Catholic Church said in St Peter’s Basilica.
One message of Easter, he said, is that it is always possible to start anew.
“Even from the shambles of human history, God has created something new from the rubble of our hearts,’’ the Pope said.
“God can create a work of art from the ruined remnants of our humanity, God can prepare a new history.’’
“In these dark months of the pandemic … listen to the Risen Lord as He invites us to begin anew and never lose hope,’’ the pope said.
About 200 faithful and clergy joined in the service.
Only a limited number of people were allowed to attend as a precaution to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Christians commemorate the resurrection of Jesus during the Easter weekend.
At the beginning of Saturday’s vigil service, the pontiff carried the Easter candle – the light of Christ – into the dark St Peter’s Basilica.
For devout Christians, Easter is the most important feast in the church year.