Pope Francis left the Vatican for a surprise visit to Rome churches to pray for the end of the Coronavirus pandemic that has struck Italy and the world.
The pontiff implored the healing of those suffering from the virus, its victims and their families. Pope also prayed for healthcare workers, doctors, nurses and those working to keep society functioning while are in quarantine.
The pontiff prayed first at the Basilica of S. Maria Maggiore near the capital’s central train station before making his way to the church of S. Marcello al Corso in city centre, where he prayed at the foot of a wooden crucifix.
The pope made his way to the 2nd church by foot, in a silent pilgrimage of prayer, and the Vatican released a dramatic photograph showing the pontiff walk along a normally bustling Via del Corso, now deserted due to the lockdown.