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Pope, at audience with public present, talks about the power of prayer

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VATICAN CITY — Holding a general audience with visitors and pilgrims present for the first time in more than six months, Pope Francis said he was very pleased to see people "face to face. I'll tell you something: it's not nice to talk in front of nothing, just a camera. It's not nice," the pope told about 300 people who attended the audience May 12 in the San Damaso Courtyard of the Apostolic Palace.

Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the last general audience open to the public was Oct. 28. After that, the pope returned to livestreaming the audience from the library of the Apostolic Palace. Greeting Polish speakers at the audience, the pope noted that May 13, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, marked the 40th anniversary of the attempt to assassinate St. John Paul II. The Polish pope, who was riding in the popemobile at the start of a weekly general audience when he was shot by Mehmet Ali Agca in 1981, was convinced "that he owed his life to Our Lady of Fatima," Pope Francis said. "This event makes us aware that our lives and the history of the world are in the hands of God."

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021