Pope Francis’s new book – A spiritual aid for this pandemic

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The Vatican has made a free downloadable book of Pope Francis’s prayers, supplications and homilies available for readers around the world.CNS photo/Remo Casilli, Reuters

‘Strong in the Face of Tribulation’

The Vatican has made a free downloadable book of Pope Francis’s prayers, supplications and homilies available for readers around the world.

Strong in the Face of Tribulation is available for download free of charge on the website of the Vatican’s publishing house, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, in PDF format. It is currently available in English, Italian, Spanish and French.

The free publication is intended to be a spiritual aid during the coronavirus pandemic. It will be updated periodically.

Everything has suddenly changed. What we previously took for granted seems to be uncertain: the way we relate with others at work, how we manage our emotions, study, recreation, prayer, even the possibility of attending Mass… pope francis

“[It is] a little help offered to all, so as to know how to discern and experience God’s closeness and tenderness in pain, in suffering, in solitude, and in fear,” said Andrea Tornielli, editorial director of Vatican’s Dicastery for Communication.

Pope Francis’ book will offer help to all experiencing pain, suffering and solitude. Demonstrators in Albany, N.Y., protest the state’s economic lockdown measures April 22, 2020, during the coronavirus pandemic. CNS photo/Bryan R Smith, Reuters

Edited by the Dicastery, the publication, contains a collection of prayers, intercessions, and homilies to help sustain the Church’s sense of communion amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The cover of the book carries an image of the Archangel Michael who “protects the Church against evil and supports us in this difficult trial, so that this evil may not prejudice our trust in the Father and the solidarity among us,” said Tornielli. Rather, these trying times should become an “opportunity to look at what is truly essential for our lives and to share the love received from God among all,” especially with those who are most in need.

Strong in the Face of Tribulation contains three sections. In the first, prayers, rituals and supplications for difficult times inspired by Christian tradition can be found. It includes blessings for the sick, prayers for liberation from evil, and other texts that originate from various ecclesial contexts and historical eras.

The second section is dedicated to the indications given by the Church on how people can continue to live out a sacramental life even though coronavirus precautionary measures do not permit their physical participation in them.

The spiritual communion: Those who are unable to make sacramental Communion with Christ by participating in the Eucharist, can express the desire to receive him in their spirit with words that help to make spiritual communion with him

It focuses on elements that foster spiritual communion with the Church, and how to obtain forgiveness from sin despite the impossibility of receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

The final part is a collection of Pope Francis’s words to the church during the pandemic. It contains all of his homilies from Mass at the Casa Santa Marta, and the texts of the Sunday Angelus discourses, beginning from 9 March.

The digital copy of the book will be updated several times a week in the light of new developments and the “rediscovery” of other treasures of the Church’s tradition. It can, therefore, be downloaded several times to keep abreast of new additions. – www.zenit.org

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