The Vatican has released a free online prayer book to help Catholics seeking divine assistance amid the coronavirus crisis.
The 192-page book is available for download on the website of the Vatican’s publishing house, the Libreria Editrice Vaticana. The publication, which is in PDF format, is available in English, Italian, Spanish, and French. A Portuguese version will be published soon.
The book, which is called “Strong in the Face of Tribulation: The Church in Communion – a Sure Support in Time of Trial” and has an image of the Archangel Michael on its cover, is divided into three parts.
The first part contains prayers, rituals and supplications, including prayers for the sick and for liberation from evil. The second explains how Catholics can continue to practice the faith without the support of the Sacraments. The third section gathers together Pope Francis’ reflections since the pandemic struck.
The book is edited by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Communication and will be updated regularly.
In the introduction, Andrea Tornielli, the dicastery’s editorial director, writes: “This book is intended to be a little help offered to all, so as to know how to discern and experience God’s closeness and tenderness in pain, in suffering, in solitude and in fear. Of course, faith does not eliminate pain; ecclesial communion does not eliminate anguish. Rather, it does illuminate reality and reveal that it is pervaded by the love and hope based not on our abilities, but on the One Who is faithful and never abandons us.”
He continues: “On the cover there is an image of the Archangel Michael, who protects the Church against evil and sustains us in this difficult trial, so that this evil may not prejudice our trust in the Father and the solidarity among us, but rather become an opportunity to look at what is truly essential for our lives and to share the love received from God among us all, and in a special way with those who are most in need today.”