- Sep 18, 2020
Calling the Shroud of Turin an “icon of the Lord Jesus crucified, died and risen,” Pope Francis thanked the archbishop of Turin for deciding to offer a special online exposition of the shroud Holy Saturday, April 11, to pray for an end to the coronavirus pandemic.
Jesus has risen and is alive today, not as a character from the past found in history books but in day-to-day life, Pope Francis said Saturday as he celebrated the Easter Vigil Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica.
Pope Francis and top officials of the Roman Curia will leave the Vatican March 10-15 for their annual Lenten retreat, the Vatican confirmed Feb. 26, but it did not announce who the retreat leader would be.
Pope Francis is well known for finding parallels between Gospel scenes and contemporary happenings, and he did so again during the Easter vigil Mass on Saturday. The pontiff suggested that the grieving and fearful faces of the two women who accompanied Jesus during his passion, and who sought out his body in the tomb, can be glimpsed today in the poor, victims of human trafficking, and all those who bear injustice.
A recent, and long needed, restoration of the most sacred chapel in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is a small sign of the progress that has been made in the relationship among the Churches which control the shrine. This year – when Catholic and Orthodox Easter fall on the same day – Holy Saturday will be a busy day in the church.
In these blessed days, Lent comes to an end and we are on the threshold of the Easter Celebration, a feast that marks the passage from a life of slavery and dependence to a new life in the promised land, a land of freedom and of divine graces, which we have inherited on the day of the resurrection. Now we are beginning to live Holy Week with its celebrations and prayers which the Church has established as a help and a means to climb up to Golgotha, in order to accompany Christ on his painful journey to His crucifixion and burial, and the arrival of the dawn of deliverance.