The Vatican has released a free online prayer book to help Catholics seeking divine assistance amid the coronavirus crisis.
The Dicastery for Communication of the Holy See is making available a downloadable book entitled “Strong in the Face of Tribulation”, containing prayers, supplications, and the Pope’s homilies as “a sure support in time of trial,” Vatican News announced late on April 21, 2020.
And… it is free and designed to be a spiritual add to people during the coronavirus pandemic. It will be updated periodically.
“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,” according to Andrea Tornielli, the editorial director of Vatican’s Dicastery for Communication, presenting Strong in the Face of Tribulation: The Church in Communion – a Sure Support in Time of Trial.
Edited by the Holy See’s Dicastery for Communication, the digital publication contains a collection of prayers, intercessions, and homilies to help sustain the Church’s sense of communion amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Strong in the Face of Tribulation is available for download free of charge on the website of the Vatican’s publishing house, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, in PDF format. It is currently available in English, Italian, Spanish and French.
The cover of the book carries an image of the Archangel Michael who “protects the Church against evil and supports us in this difficult trial, so that this evil may not prejudice our trust in the Father and the solidarity among us,” writes Tornielli. Rather, these trying times should become an “opportunity to look at what is truly essential for our lives and to share the love received from God among all,” especially with those who are most in need.
Strong in the Face of Tribulation contains three sections. In the first, prayers, rituals and supplications for difficult times inspired by Christian tradition can be found. It includes blessings for the sick, prayers for liberation from evil, and other texts that originate from various ecclesial contexts and historical eras.
The second section is dedicated to the indications given by the Church on how people can continue to live out a sacramental life even though coronavirus precautionary measures do not permit their physical participation in them. It focuses on elements that foster spiritual communion with the Church, and how to obtain forgiveness from sin despite the impossibility of receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
The final part is a collection of Pope Francis’s words to the ecclesial community in these times of trial. It contains all of his homilies from Mass at the Casa Santa Marta, and the texts of the Sunday Angelus discourses, beginning from 9 March.
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.”
The digital copy of the book will be updated several times a week in the light of new developments and the “rediscovery” of other treasures of the Church’s tradition. It can, therefore, be downloaded several times to keep abreast of new additions.