Press Release

Light a Candle at Easter Vigil

European Bishops invitation to hope

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life”. (John 8:12)

In view of the upcoming Easter Sunday celebrations, H. Em. Card. Angelo Bagnasco and H. Em. Card. Jean-Claude Hollerich SJ, respectively President of the Council of the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe (CCEE), and President of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE), invite all Catholics to spread a message of hope by lighting a candle at their window on Easter eve.

“It is a small but significant and symbolic message of hope in this historical and dramatic moment in which millions of people in Europe and the rest of world are affected by much sufferance and uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic”– state the two leaders of the Catholic Church in Europe.

This initiative also aims at reinforcing the sense of community in the EU and all European countries. The current context of fear leads us to be wary of the other, who is perceived as a potential danger. “More than ever– say the two Cardinals – we must cultivate the furrows of brotherhood: it is together and united that we will overcome this scourge”.

Already on 12 March 2020, when the World Health Organisation (WHO) officially declared the outbreak of coronavirus a pandemic, the two Church leaders raised a common prayer to God for help, comfort and salvation.

On that occasion, the two Cardinals joined Pope Francis in reiterating the closeness of the Church to all those struggling due to the pandemic: the victims, their families and all healthcare workers, volunteers and faithful who are in the frontline, caring for those affected and bringing them relief.