Pope Francis called for the end of war and abortion during an Easter vigil Saturday, and encouraged people to be “messages of life in a time of death.”
In an event the public could not participate in due to the coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis led mass in an empty St. Peter’s Basilica, National Post reported. The vigil usually draws 10,000 people. (RELATED: Northam Signs Good Friday Abortion Bills Repealing ‘Medically-Unnecessary Restrictions’ On Abortion)
“Let us silence the cries of death, no more wars! May we stop the production and trade of weapons, since we need bread, not guns,” Francis said.
“Let the abortion and killing of innocent lives end. May the hearts of those who have enough be open to filling the empty hands of those who do not have the bare necessities.”
Francis also compared the discovery of Jesus’ empty tomb on the day he rose from the dead to the uncertainty the world faces due to the coronavirus.
“Then too, there was fear about the future and all that would need to be rebuilt. A painful memory, a hope cut short. For them, as for us, it was the darkest hour,” Francis said in his homily.
This year’s Easter Vigil liturgy was modified due to the “health emergency in progress” and the Paschal candle and lighting of the candles among the faithful were omitted, Catholic News Agency reported.
“Dear sister, dear brother, even if in your heart you have buried hope, do not give up: God is greater. Darkness and death do not have the last word. Be strong, for with God nothing is lost,” he said.