VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has singled out funeral home workers for people’s prayers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Italy and some other countries, the deaths of people with coronavirus infections have meant funeral parlor workers must deal with the grief of families who aren’t allowed to hold public funerals as part of government-ordered measures to try to contain the pandemic.
Francis says, “What they do is so heavy and sad. They really feel the pain of this pandemic so close.”
The pope made the appeal for prayers during his early morning Mass on Saturday in the Vatican City hotel where he resides.
In past remarks, the pope has cited others for doing what he called heroic work during the pandemic, including doctors, nurses, supermarket clerks and transport workers.
The Vatican has its own lockdown, barring the public from its museums and religious ceremonies. It has reported nine coronavirus cases among the residents or employees of the walled, independent Vatican City State.