May 4, 2020
Free downloadable book of homilies and prayers from the Vatican
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican published a free downloadable book of Pope Francis’ prayers and homilies responding to the trial and suffering of the coronavirus pandemic.
Titled “Strong in the Face of Tribulation,” the book also contains suggestions for Catholics who are unable to receive the sacraments due to restrictive measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The book, which was released April 21, is available in English, Italian, Spanish and French and will be updated several times a week “with new homilies and other interventions made by the pope,” said Andrea Tornielli, editorial director of the Vatican Dicastery for Communication.
“This book is intended to be 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,” Tornielli wrote in the book’s introduction.
“Thousands of people are gravely ill, thousands have died,” he wrote. “Many families mourn their loved ones, to whom they were unable to stay close, to whom they were unable to say farewell, and who were cremated without the possibility of a funeral.”
For Catholics, he added, not participating in the liturgy or the sacraments, “aggravates this condition of uncertainty, discomfort and confusion.”
Nevertheless, Tornielli said the church’s invitation to “renew our faith in the risen Christ” has sparked creativity, especially among priests who, through the use of technology, “make themselves present in the life of their communities and families confined to their homes in semi-deserted cities.”
The editorial director said that when lived “in its essential elements,” Christian faith can offer an outlook on reality that offers the possibility of seeing God’s love and experiencing the unity of the church even amid solitude and isolation.
The book in English can be downloaded at https://www.vaticannews.va/content/dam/lev/forti-nella-tribolazione/pdf/eng/strong-in-tribulation.-20042020.pdf
The book in Spanish can be found here: https://www.vaticannews.va/content/dam/lev/forti-nella-tribolazione/pdf/es/SPAGNOLO_22-APRILE.pdf