The Vatican has sent hundreds of thousands of medical masks to China to help it deal with the coronavirus outbreak, with each bag marked with Pope Francis’ coat of arms.
The official Vatican News website said the initiative was carried out jointly by the office of papal charities and a missionary center in Italy for Chinese Catholics.
The masks, packed in bags of 10, have been sent to Jubei, Zhejiand and Fujian provinces, Vatican News said.
After decades of chilly relations, ties between the Vatican and Beijing have improved since September, 2018 when they signed a pact on the naming of bishops.
Conservative Catholics have objected to the pact, accusing the Vatican of having sold out to the communist government.
In the below AsiaNews video watch Chinese Catholics celebrate Sunday by praying at home out of fear of contracting the virus.