Pope: Easter gives hope in our ‘darkest hour,’ despite fear

  • Pope Francis presides over a solemn Easter vigil ceremony in St. Peter’s Basilica empty of the faithful following Italy’s ban on gatherings to contain coronavirus contagion, at the Vatican, Saturday, April 11, 2020. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (Remo Casilli/Pool Photo via AP)

VATICAN CITY — Easter offers a message of hope in people’s “darkest hour,” Pope Francis said, as he celebrated a late-night vigil Mass Saturday in St. Peter’s Basilica, with the public barred because of the COVID-19 pandemic.