Faithful wait before Pope Francis delivers his blessing from the window of the apostolic palace overlooking an empty St. Peter's Square after his livestreamed Angelus prayer at the Vatican on May 10. (Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP)
At a time of global "tragedy and suffering" because of the coronavirus, and in view of the long-term impact it will have, believers of every religion should beg mercy from the one God and father of all, Pope Francis said.During his early-morning Mass, Pope Francis joined leaders of every religion marking May 14 as a day of prayer, fasting and acts of charity to ask God to stop the coronavirus pandemic.Some people might think, "'It hasn't affected me; thank God I'm safe.' But think about others! Think about the tragedy and also about the economic consequences, the consequences on education," the pope said in his homily."That is why today everyone, brothers and sisters from every religious tradition are praying to God," he said.The day of prayer was called for by the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, an international group of religious leaders formed after Pope Francis and Sheikh Ahmad el-Tayeb, grand imam of al-Azhar, signed a document in 2019 on promoting dialogue and "human fraternity."