Christian faithful the world over are invited join Pope Francis spiritually in prayer 6pm Rome time (5pm London, 1pm EDT).
From the steps of St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis will lead the moment of prayer, which will consist of readings from Sacred Scripture, prayers of supplication, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and the benediction urbi et orbi — a solemn blessing given “to the city and to the world” — by Pope Francis, which has a plenary indulgence attached to it, available to the faithful under conditions established in the a recent decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary:
[G]ranted to the faithful suffering from Coronavirus, who are subject to quarantine by order of the health authority in hospitals or in their own homes if, with a spirit detached from any sin, they unite spiritually through the media to the celebration of Holy Mass, the recitation of the Holy Rosary, to the pious practice of the Way of the Cross or other forms of devotion, or if at least they will recite the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer and a pious invocation to the Blessed Virgin Mary, offering this trial in a spirit of faith in God and charity towards their brothers and sisters, with the will to fulfil the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer according to the Holy Father’s intentions), as soon as possible.
Medical professionals, first responders, and other caregivers, whose occupations put them at elevated risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus, may likewise obtain the indulgence.
In addition, the indulgence is available during the emergency to the faithful who pray especially for relief from the pandemic and the repose of the souls of the victims of the disease. The decree specifically names several traditional acts of devotion: visiting the Blessed Sacrament; Eucharistic adoration; a half hour’s reading in Sacred Scripture; recitation of the Rosary; the Via Crucis; and, the Divine Mercy chaplet.
Vatican Media will broadcast the event live, starting at 6pm Rome time. The raw feed is available on the Vatican’s YouTube channel, while English commentary is available through the Vatican News portal, as well as on the Vatican Media Facebook page.