Rome, April 5, 2021
Pope Francis dedicated his noon-day public prayer on Easter Monday to the elderly and sick, as well as residents of nursing homes, saying he hoped his words gave them encouragement and hope.
The prayer known as the Regina Caeli (Queen of Heaven) was delivered from the Vatican and viewable for streaming.
It officially ended the Easter celebration in the Catholic Church.
The commemoration of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Mother of God replaces the Angelus (Angel) prayer, which is more common at other times.
This year was the second time after 2020 that the head of the Church had to celebrate the festivities to mark the resurrection of Jesus Christ in the Vatican under strict coronavirus restrictions.
There were virtually no pilgrims in Rome over the weekend and the huge St Peter’s Square was almost empty on Monday.
Easter is the climax of the ecclesiastical year for believing Christians.
In his Easter message earlier on Sunday, the 84-year-old Francis had called for more vaccinations against COVID-19 also for poorer countries in front of a few listeners in St Peter’s Basilica.
The Argentinian also warned against wars and arms races in the world.