Pope Francis is pictured in a video for an ad campaign promoting COVID-19 vaccines throughout the Americas. (CNS Screenshot/ courtesy Ad Council)
Vatican City (CNS) — When each individual makes a small act of charity, like getting the COVID-19 vaccine, every gesture added together can transform the world, Pope Francis said in a global ad campaign.
In his message, the pope said, “Thanks to God and to the work of many, we now have vaccines to protect us from COVID-19. They grant us the hope of ending the pandemic, but only if they are available to all and if we work together.”
Getting inoculated “is an act of love” for oneself, family, friends and all people, he said.
“Love is also social and political” as these individual “small gestures of personal charity” add up, “overflowing” into something universal that is “capable of transforming and improving societies,” he said.
“Being vaccinated with vaccines authorized by the competent authorities is an act of love. And contributing to ensure the majority of people are vaccinated is an act of love — love for oneself, love for one’s family and friends, love for all people,” he said in a public service announcement released Aug. 18 in Rome.
“Vaccination is a simple but profound way of promoting the common good and caring for each other, especially the most vulnerable,” the pope said.
“I pray to God that everyone may contribute their own small grain of sand, their own small gesture of love; no matter how small, love is always great. Contribute with these small gestures for a better future. God bless you, and thank you,” he said.
Also offering messages encouraging vaccination were: Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes of Mexico; Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, Honduras; Cardinal Cláudio Hummes, retired archbishop of São Paulo; Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chávez, auxiliary bishop of San Salvador, El Salvador; and Archbishop Miguel Cabrejos Vidarte of Trujillo, Peru.