By Lydia O’Kane
VATICAN CITY — During his Regina Coeli, Pope Francis recalls Vocations Sunday and invites international cooperation to deal with coronavirus pandemic.
Courage to respond to God’s call
He commented that this Day reminds us of what Jesus said, “that the field of the Kingdom of God requires much work, and we must pray to the Father to send labourers to work in His field.
The Pope noted that “Christian existence is always a response to God’s call, in any state of life.”
He also stressed that “priesthood and the consecrated life require courage and perseverance; and without prayer one cannot continue along this path.”
“I invite everyone,” said Pope Francis, “to ask the Lord for the gift of good labourers for His Kingdom, with hearts and hands open to His love”.
Closeness during pandemic
During his words following the recitation of the Regina Coeli, the Pope again expressed his closeness those who are suffering from Covid-19, and to those caring for people stricken by the virus at this time.
Pope Francis also expressed his support for an international collaboration that is taking place with various initiatives to respond adequately and effectively to this serious crisis.
It is important, he said, “to bring together scientific capacities, in a transparent and impartial way, to find vaccines and treatments and to guarantee universal access to essential technologies that will enable every infected person, in every part of the world, to receive the necessary health care”.
Underlining the importance of prayer at this difficult time, the Pope said he had accepted a proposal of the Higher Committee for Human Fraternity that on this coming 14 May, “believers of all religions should unite spiritually for a day of prayer and fasting, to implore God to help humanity overcome the coronavirus pandemic”.
Concluding the Regina Coeli, the Pope addressed a special thought to the Italian based Association “Meter”, which is promoting a National Day for children who are victims of violence, exploitation and indifference.
He also remembered Our Lady in this Marian month of May, and encouraged the faithful to spiritually visit Shrines dedicated to Mary during this health emergency.