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Pope holds Palm Sunday services at empty Vatican

Added 04-05-20 09:13:02am EST - “With just a few people in the pews, spaced apart, the Pope preached to an almost empty pulpit Sunday as his Palm Sunday Mass went on during the coronavirus pandemic.” - Nydailynews.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Nydailynews.com: “Pope holds Palm Sunday services at empty Vatican”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

With just a few people in the pews, spaced apart, the Pope preached to an almost empty pulpit Sunday as his Palm Sunday Mass went on during the coronavirus pandemic.

The service, which usually draws tens of thousands of people to St. Peter’s Square, was upended due to quarantine restrictions as COVID-19 continues to ravage the world and instead was done at St. Peter’s Basilica.

“Loving, praying, forgiving, caring for others, in the family and in society: all this can certainly be difficult. It can feel like a via crucis. But the path of service is the victorious and lifegiving path by which we were saved. I would like to say this especially to young people, on this Day which has been dedicated to them for thirty-five years now,” the 83-year-old Francis said during the homily, which was televised and streamed for millions around the world.

“Dear friends, look at the real heroes who come to light in these days: they are not famous, rich and successful people; rather, they are those who are giving themselves in order to serve others. Feel called yourselves to put your lives on the line. Do not be afraid to devote your life to God and to others; it pays! For life is a gift we receive only when we give ourselves away, and our deepest joy comes from saying yes to love, without ifs and buts. As Jesus did for us.”

The pope, who suffered a cold last month, has been giving his weekly sermons via video since early March to encourage people to stay home, an almost unheard of practice for the papal leader.

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