Pope Francis on Saturday called for a “more just and equitable society” in the post-coronavirus world, and for people to act to “end the pandemic of poverty”.

Speaking in a video message, Pope said, “Once we emerge from this pandemic, we will not be able to keep doing what we were doing, and as we were doing it. No, everything will be different”.

Marking the largest gathering in the Vatican in nearly three months, Pope held an outdoor prayer service with about 130 people, including many directly affected by the pandemic.

Lakhs of people from nearly 50 Catholic shrines around the world virtually joined the rosary prayer in the Vatican gardens. A large screen in the gardens displayed video links with about 25 locations.

“From the great trials of humanity — among them this pandemic — one emerges better or worse. You don’t emerge the same. I ask this of you: how do you want to come out of it? Better or worse?” he added.

People needed to open their minds and hearts to learn the central lesson from this crisis: “We are one humanity,” Pope added.

In his closing prayer, Pope Francis proposed that world leaders should adopt a far-sighted attitude, by helping the needy now and coming up with long-term economic and social solutions.

He prayed that the Madonna would touch consciences of leaders so that the enormous amount spent on possessing and perfecting more armaments would instead be diverted to research to prevent such catastrophes in the future.

Earlier this month, Pope Francis called for international scientific cooperation to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 and said any successful one should be shared globally.