He will not appear at the window which overlooks Saint-Pierre square. Pope Francis will deliver his traditional Angelus prayer from his library on Sunday March 8. It will be broadcast live on video, the Vatican announced on Saturday. “avoid the risks of dissemination” of the coronavirus.
“The prayer of the Angelus of the Holy Father will take place in the library of the Apostolic Palace and not in St. Peter's Square from the window. The prayer will be broadcast live on Vatican News and on screens on the Saint-Pierre square so that the faithful can participate “, detailed the Vatican in a press release.
This decision “was made necessary to avoid the risks of dissemination of the Covid-19 linked to the formation of rallies during the controls for access to Saint-Pierre square”, explained the Vatican. The Pope's weekly audience, Wednesday, “will take place under the same conditions”.
The Angelus on Sunday and the audience on Wednesday represent a great attraction for pilgrims and tourists coming to Rome and eager to see the Pope in the flesh. The crowd usually present should therefore be very small after the Vatican announcement.
In addition, until Sunday March 15, masses at Sainte-Marthe, the hotel where the Pope lives in the Vatican, are canceled. Vatican City, the world's smallest state, announced its first case of coronavirus on Friday. It was detected in the modest medical center, located not far from one of the access doors to the territory of this micro-State, which normally welcomes inhabitants, employees or retirees of the Vatican, including members of the clergy .