In what is called La Bendicion ‘Urbi et Orbi’ (a Latin phrase translated to English as The Blessing to Rome and to the end of the world), the pope addresses the sins of humanity and prays to God for forgiveness of them. This pope blessing, which is usually done only on two dates, on Christmas Day and Easter Sunday, was televised as a special edition this past Friday night in light of the pandemic.
“I asked the Lord to stop the pandemic,” he said to an Italian newspaper.
As he went to pray in two churches, he prayed before two objects. First, the famous icon of Our Lady with the child Jesus in her arms in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major. This idol is known as “the protectress of the Roman people.” Following this, he went to the church of St. Marcello in Via del Coroso to the “miraculous crucifix” to pray there. He claims that it helped to end the plague in Rome at different times in centuries past.
The praying of the pope before these two statues in itself is already blasphemous, where he is presenting himself as a mediator-like vessel before the world, similar to Jesus. We can all go before God on behalf of the people just like he can. He doesn’t have a special title or rank in Heaven that separates him from everyone else.
Next, the statues which he prays before are not some talismans or good-luck charms that prevented plagues in the past. The word of God clearly teaches us about creating false idols among us.
“You shall have no other gods beforeme. “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.Exodus 20:3-6
Unfortunately, these acts of idolatry may have been what brought judgment over Italy in the first place. Currently, Italy is now in second place, falling to the United States of most coronavirus cases in the world. Italy used to hold the number 1 spot, forcing the whole country to have a forced shut down. Sadly, many people suffered from ill conditions and have died, given that Italy contains one of the oldest populations in the world. Older populations prove to be more vulnerable for this virus.
Nonetheless, we praise God that the numbers have fallen, and that the cases have decreased. It seems like the matter has been under control. It’s only a matter of time before the numbers continue to drop below significant amounts. Not because of the pope’s prayers, but because of the faith and prayers of the saints.
We continue to pray over Italy healing and deliverance for their nation. We pray that God forgives any sin that they have endured from their past generations, and we declare that curses are being cancelled now! In the name of Jesus, we pray, amen!