A Polish priest processed throughout the neighbourhood of his parish encouraging quarantined parishioners to join him in prayer from their windows.
Father Miroslaw Matuszny, a priest of the Parish of the Conversion of St Paul, carried a relic of Saint Anthony near his church in east Lublin on Tuesday evening.
As Poland has limited gatherings to 50 people or less, effectively shutting down Mass in some areas of Poland, he encouraged local churchgoers to light candles and pray with him from their windows.
“This is an unusual situation…I want to pray in this way not only for the coronavirus to go away but also against the danger of people losing their faith,” Matuszny told Reuters.
In Poland, there have been 251 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and five deaths related to the virus, Reuters reported. The pandemic has caused many of the country’s schools, cinemas, and theatres to close down.
Although Mass can be viewed on TV or online, Matuszny emphasized the importance of bringing prayers to the people so that they do not lose touch with God. He said he would continue his procession until he is forced to stop.
“It will be like this every day until the quarantine is over,” he told Reuters.
The quarantine has been even worse in Italy, which has over 41,000 cases and 3,400 deaths, the New York Times reported. Among other bans on Mass and public gatherings, the country has outlawed traditional funeral services.
Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki of Poznan has offered prayers for the Italians suffering under this pandemic. In a recent letter, he asked all the Polish laity to join him in prayer this evening, while the Eucharist is celebrated in front of the Miraculous Image of Our Lady of Jasna Góra “for Italy affected by the epidemic.”
“In this difficult moment, I would like to assure the faithful and the shepherds of the Church in Italy of the spiritual closeness, solidarity and prayer of the Church in Poland,” the archbishop wrote.
“Let us confidently call for the intercession of the Holy Bishops of Rome St. John XXIII, St. Paul VI, and St. John Paul II,” he added.
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