“24 Hours for the Lord” is an initiative organized by the Pontifical Council
for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, and held annually on the Friday
and Saturday preceding the fourth Sunday of Lent.
A church in every diocese around the world is kept open for 24 consecutive
hours. The faithful are encouraged to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation
and to pray in spiritual union with the Holy Father.
At the Wednesday General Audience, Pope Francis called the initiative “an
important Lenten appointment for prayer” and a good opportunity to go to
This year’s recurrence will take place under restricted circumstances, due to
the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Many countries have banned public gatherings and limited some freedom of
movement to stem the virus’ spread.
“Unfortunately in Rome, Italy, and in other nations this initiative cannot be
held under its traditional format due to the coronavirus emergency,” said the
Pray to participate
But he urged Catholics in countries without restrictions on gatherings to
continue “this beautiful tradition.”
“I encourage the faithful to draw near sincerely to the mercy of God in Con-
fession and to pray especially for those suffering due to the pandemic.”
For those who are unable to participate directly in the 24 Hours for the Lord
initiative, Pope Francis said he is certain they will be able to experience “this
penitential moment through personal prayer.”