ROME – MARCH 17, 2017: Pope Francis kneels before a priest to confess during the Liturgy of Penance on March 17, 2017 in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.
On the same day he also urged churches around the world to open their doors for 24 hours next Friday and Saturday, March 24-25, so that the faithful may encounter the mercy of the Lord, through confession and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. See more about his pronouncement here.
In his 2015 Message for Lent, Pope Francis spoke of the importance of this 24-hour initiative.
“As individuals, we are tempted by indifference,” he wrote. “Flooded with news reports and troubling images of human suffering, we often feel our complete inability to help. What can we do to avoid being caught up in this spiral of distress and powerlessness?
“First, we can pray in communion with the Church on earth and in heaven,” the pope said. “Let us not underestimate the power of so many voices united in prayer!
“The 24 Hours for the Lord initiative, which I hope will be observed . . . throughout the Church, also at the diocesan level, is meant to be a sign of this need for prayer.”
“The favors of the Lord are not exhausted, his mercies not over and done. Every morning they are renewed, so great is his faithfulness! – Lamentations 3:22-26
Photograph by Andrew Medichini-AFP