The Catholic News Service has reported that because of the coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis is asking Christians of every denomination to join together on Wednesday March 25 at noon Rome time (7 a.m. Eastern time in the Washington, D.C., area) to recite the Lord's Prayer. The Catholic Church and many others mark March 25 as the feast of the Annunciation of the Lord, commemorating when the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she would bear the Son of God and name him Jesus.
Also in response to coronavirus pandemic, the pontiff will be issuing a special “urbi et orbi” (to the city and the world) blessing at 6 p.m. Rome time (1 p.m. Eastern time in Washington) on Friday March 27. He typically issues that blessing at Christmas and Easter. This time it will be to an empty St. Peter's Square due to the lockdown in Italy.
March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation, is also commemorated as Maryland Day, because on that day in 1634, the first English colonists landed at St. Clement's Island, Maryland, where Jesuit Father Andrew White celebrated the first Catholic Mass in the English-speaking colonies.
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