ROME — Pope Francis reached out to victims of coronavirus lockdowns who have lost work and are struggling to make ends meet, calling on Christians Sunday to find ways to assist them.

“A special greeting to the families in this period who are struggling,” the pontiff said at the end of his weekly Angelus message in Saint Peter’s Square. “Regarding this, think of the many families who find themselves in difficulty in this moment, because they do not have work, they have lost their jobs, they have one or two children…”

“And at times, perhaps feeling ashamed, they do not make this known,” he added.

“But you are the ones who need to go and look where there is need,” he urged his hearers. “Where Jesus is, where Jesus is in need. Do this!”

Like many countries in the northern hemisphere, Italy has experienced a seasonal uptick in coronavirus cases and lockdowns have been imposed in a number of Italian regions, resulting in widespread unemployment.

The vast majority of positive cases are asymptomatic or experience mild symptoms of the disease and currently fewer than one half of one percent of patients are in intensive care.

Unlike in the UK, France, and Ireland, however, Italy has chosen not to suspend public worship this time around.

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