Greeting visitors in St. Peter’s Square after nearly a month of tight restrictions due to the pandemic, Pope Francis said he was happy to see people allowed to gather and be present for Sunday noonday prayer.

“I offer a warm greeting to all of you, people of Rome and pilgrims,” he said, pointing out the many flags he could see being held high.

A few hundred people, all wearing masks and socially distanced, attended the recitation of the “Regina Coeli” prayer April 18 after nearly a month of tighter controls on gatherings in an ongoing attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

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