ROME (AP) — Pope Francis has celebrated morning Mass all by himself in the chapel of the Vatican hotel where he lives, and has offered up prayers for those infected with coronavirus and those caring for them.
The Holy See live-streamed Francis’ Mass on Monday, evidence of new measures the Vatican City State has taken to contain the spread of the virus in line with restrictions adopted by the Italian government. With 7,375 people infected, Italy has the most cases outside Asia.
At 83, and with part of one lung removed, Francis would be at risk for serious complications if he were to catch the virus. He came down with a cold two weeks ago, but appears to have recovered and on Monday resumed private meetings, including with bishops from France and two departing ambassadors.
The Vatican, a 108-acre city state in the heart of Rome, has confirmed one positive case. The Vatican Museums have closed and nationwide, the Italian Catholic Church has suspended Masses and other celebrations to prevent people from congregating.
(This story was originally published on March 9, 2020)