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This ’24 Hours for the Lord,’ Where One Cannot Participate, Pope Encourages Personal Prayer

Explains How Penitential Act Can Take Place on Personal Level As Measures to Secure Against COVID19 Increase

This “24 hours for the Lord”–Pope Francis acknowledges–will be different…

In the midst of the Coronavirus increasingly causing more lockdowns, Francis is inviting faithful, where unable to participate, to join with their heartfelt personal prayer.

During his virtual General Audience today, March 18, Pope Francis invited everyone to join the annual tradition, planned for March 20-21, 2020, communally if possible and in personal prayer, if they are confined because of the Coronavirus.

While praising it as an “important Lenten event to pray and approach the sacrament of reconciliation,” the Pope recognized: “Unfortunately, in Rome, Italy and other countries this initiative cannot be carried out in the usual ways due to the emergence of the Coronavirus.”

In some other parts of the world, the Pope continued, “this beautiful tradition will continue” and encouraged the faithful of those places “to approach the mercy of God in confession in a sincere way and to pray especially for those who are being tested because of the pandemic. ”

“Where it is not possible to celebrate 24 hours for the Lord,” Pope Francis prayed, “I am sure that this penitential moment can be lived through personal prayer.”

About Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio, Sky, and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, and EWTN. For 'The Other Francis': or

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