…he awoke and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?’

Mark 4:39–40




On March 27, 2020, something both simple and significant happened. That late afternoon, Saint Peter’s Square was empty, incredibly deserted, and as quiet as ever. And yet, right there, in the pouring rain and under the COVID-19 lockdown, Pope Francis united the entire world in prayer.

In the Boat, Together

"We have realized that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together, each of us in need of comforting the other. 

Just like those disciples, who spoke anxiously with one voice, saying “We are perishing” (v. 38), so we too have realized that we cannot go on thinking of ourselves, but only together we can do this."

Two things were going through my mind: the empty square, people united at a distance… And we are all in the boat…
Pope Francis
We need the Lord, like the navigators needed the stars
Pope Francis

No Moment Alone

“You ask us not to be afraid. Yet our faith is weak and we are fearful. But you, Lord, will not leave us at the mercy of the storm. Tell us again, ‘Do not be afraid’ (Mt 28:5). And we, together with Peter, ‘cast all our anxieties onto you, for you care about us’ (1 Pt 5:7)”


Meté Mano

The world was watching the Bishop of Rome and was praying with him, in silence. It was watching the Pope as an intercessor between God and us, His people. 


We asked Pope Francis what he said to God in those moments. “You know this, you already resolved a situation like this in the 1500s, ‘meté mano’. This expression, ‘put your hand’ is really mine. Many times, in prayer, I say: Put your hands on us, please!’”. 

You know this, you already resolved a situation like this in the 1500s, ‘meté mano’.
Pope Francis


The celebration of March 27, 2020 will remain etched in the memories of all men and women who, locked down, frighten, and lost due to the unexpected tempest of the COVID-19 pandemic, were watching Pope Francis from the heart of the Church on their screens. He reminded us that we are sinking alone and he invited us to surrender our fears to Jesus, and through Him, to obtain serenity in the midst of the tempest. Then he entrusted everyone to the Lord, through the intercession of Mary, Protectress of His People. He prayed to God in silence, at the foot of the cross of Christ, and he blessed us with the Blessed Sacrament…

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