Yesterday, the Vatican published a print copy of Pope Francis’ pandemic prayer book entitled “Strong in the Face of Tribulation: The Church in Communion – a Sure Support in Time of Trial.”
Edited by the Dicastery for Communication, the book contains a collection of prayers, intercessions, supplications, and homilies that Pope Francis hopes will aid in sustaining the Church’s sense of communion amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“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.” – Andrea Tornielli, editorial director for the Dicastery for Communication
Tornielli said the book’s cover features Michael the Archangel 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.”
“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.”
The book features three sections, the first dedicated to prayers for difficult times inspired by Catholic tradition: blessings for the sick, liberation from evil, and other texts that from ecclesial contexts and historical tradition.
The middle section is dedicated to how the Faithful can continue to live out a sacramental life when coronavirus lockdown does not allow our physical participation in them, focusing on spiritual communion with the Church and obtaining forgiveness for sins when Reconciliation is not possible.
The final section contains the words of the Holy Father given in these times of trial, starting from the 9th of March and ending on May 18th. It features his homilies from Mass at the Casa Santa Marta and his Sunday Angelus discourses.
Father Giulio Cesareo, editorial director of Libreria Editrice Vaticana, the Vatican Publishing House, underlined how important his homilies were:
“He is a father, a spiritual guide who accompanied us as we lived that period. His homilies are precious because they are not only valid for back then. We still experience conflicts, shame, difficulties in praying. We were perhaps more receptive and attentive to what he told us back then. But it is important to keep his words with us so as to allow ourselves to be continually nourished by the beautiful things he said that concern life.”