Pope Francis renews his invitation for people of all faiths to unite in prayer, fasting, and works of charity on Thursday for an end to the Covid-19 pandemic.
At the weekly General Audience, Pope Francis appealed for the Day of Prayer on 14 May launched by the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity.
“Prayer is a means to communicate with and listen to God. In this spirit, I have welcomed the invitation of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity to dedicate tomorrow, 14 May, to prayer, fasting, and works of charity. I invite and encourage everyone to join in this event. May we unite as brothers and sisters in asking the Lord to save humanity from the pandemic, to enlighten scientists, and to heal the sick. May the Lord bless each one of you, and always protect you from every evil.
The Pope had already expressed his support for the initiative at the Regina Coeli address on 3 May. On that occasion, he recalled that prayer has “universal value”.
He has also tweeted his desire that people of all faiths take part on 4 and 12 May.
WUCWO marks Day of Prayer and milestone anniversary
The World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations on Thursday is holding a virtual cenacle, or group discussion, in three languages, including English, with up to 500 women joining in.
It’s all part of their effort to support the Day of Prayer proposed by the Higher Committee for Human Fraternity.
The day also coincides with the organisation’s 110th anniversary.
The World Union of Catholic Women’s Organisations (WUCWO) was founded in 1910 and is active in around 60 countries on all continents.
WUCWO’s mission is that of evangelisation and to work for human development, particularly in “increasing educational opportunities, poverty reduction and the advancement of human rights beginning with the fundamental right to life.”
14 May a milestone day
María Lía Zervino is President of the organisation. She spoke to Vatican News about this “milestone” day.
“There are so many women from around the world that want to be in communion with this prayer for humanity”, she said. “There are a few milestones because this day with the Prayer for Humanity is also a milestone for the Church, for our humanity, for the whole world.”
She went on to say that it is an important moment for them to be able to mark both events together.Listen to the interview
Women in the age of Covid-19
At this time the world is facing immense difficulties as a result of the coronavirus, but it is also seeing wonderful work being done by women.
Many are on the frontlines of this pandemic and day in, day out they are tending to the needs of those struck down with the disease.
Speaking about the extraordinary work being done, Ms Zervino said that women are working tirelessly every day with those who are suffering and their families to bring them comfort.
The world has changed rapidly in the last two months, not least because people are having to use virtual means to hold meetings and indeed church services.
WUCWO itself helps train those who are without resources or opportunities, and provides victims of violence and poverty a means of subsistence for themselves and their children.
It also helps enable them to fulfill their mission of evangelisation and to work for human development.
As a result of this pandemic, the WUCWO President noted that the current situation has pushed their organization to use these kinds of platforms in order to reach members throughout the world and provide training.