The Easter liturgies – with the fire, sharing of light from the paschal candle, the renewal of baptismal promises and the proclamation that Jesus has risen – assure people that it is never too late to start again, Pope Francis said.

“It is always possible to begin anew, because there is a new life that God can awaken in us in spite of all our failures,” the pope said during his celebration of the Easter Vigil.

With Italy in lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pope Francis celebrated a pared-down vigil at the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter’s Basilica with an estimated 200 people present and returned on Easter Sunday April 4 with a similarly small congregation for Easter Mass and to give his blessing “urbi et orbi” (to the city and the world).

Praise the Lord

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