Popes usually give their blessing "urbi et orbi" only immediately after their election and on Christmas and Easter.
In addition to announcing the special blessing, Pope Francis said that at a time "when humanity trembles" because of the Covid-19 pandemic, he was asking Christians of every denomination to join together at noon March 25 to recite the Lord's Prayer.
"We find ourselves afraid and lost", he added.
The pope praised doctors, nurses, police and other dedicated workers who are combating the virus. Francis prayed before an empty Square from the sagrato of St.
The ceremony, to be broadcast live by RTÉ News Live, will consist of readings from the Scriptures, prayers of supplication, and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and will conclude with Pope Francis giving his Urbi et Orbi (to the City [of Rome] and to the world) blessing.
"We have gone ahead at breakneck speed, feeling powerful and able to do anything. We did not stop at your reproach to us, we were not shaken awake by wars or injustice across the world, nor did we listen to the cry of the poor or of our ailing planet", Pope Francis said. "We carried on regardless, thinking we would stay healthy in a world that was sick", he said.
And at the end of the service, Francis granted Catholics the chance to have a rare remission for the punishment of sins.
Francis paid a surprise visit to the church two Sundays ago.
According to tradition, a plague that hit Rome in 1522 began subsiding after the crucifix was taken around the streets of the Italian capital for 16 days in 1522. Six subway lines restored limited service in Wuhan, where the virus first emerged in December, after the city had its official coronavirus risk evaluation downgraded from high to medium on Friday.
As British Prime Minister Boris Johnson became the first leader of a major country to test positive for the virus, another member of his cabinet also developed symptoms, as the number of people in the United Kingdom who have died for the illness passed the 1,000 mark.
"The anti-contagion cordon has been tight around the pope for weeks", La Stampa daily wrote.
While the US now leads the world in reported infections - with more than 104,000 cases - five countries exceed its roughly 1,700 deaths: Italy, Spain, China, Iran and France.