The "Statio Orbis" of March 27, 2020

In the midst of the pandemic, on March 27, 2020, Pope Francis, alone, in the rain, in the dark of that evening, went up to St. Peter's Square to pray with and for all humanity afflicted by Covid, then, entering the Temple, prays and blesses all the People of God, dispersed everywhere, but gathered in hope and heartfelt prayer in St. Peter's Square.
That moment remains engraved in our minds and hearts, forever and in history, and has become an icon of hope.

Starting from that day various initiatives were promoted by the Dicastery for Communication of the Holy See in unity with the Pope, together with many who have joined in the world, so that this event would not be forgotten, but would maintain its driving force.

Even more the effort was to go beyond the pandemic, so that that event was a reminder, in every moment of difficulty, to remember that no one saves themselves, not to be afraid and to transform our lives and history wrapped in Love invoking faith and hope.

In this context, with the aim of strengthening the "narrative of hope" and entering different environments, and thus being able to sow the hope that faith gives us, after the Svalbard Seed Volt event (on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen), the project of a space mission called "Spei Satelles" was started, so as to have more ways to manifest and promote the "Seed of Hope", our faith in Jesus, which support and promote that initial intuition, that event of March 27 that challenged us all, in the midst of the storm, not to be afraid and to have faith in Jesus.

In its originality, "Spei Satelles" is a project which can make young people dream, speaking of a space mission, where a small satellite carries into orbit the book, in a nanotechnological translation, which narrate the event of March 27th. Furthermore, it contains the names of those who, through a dedicated website, wanted to join this mission of hope by committing themselves to carry out an action of fraternity on earth. Finally, during his stay in orbit the small satellite will broadcast via radio signals short messages of hope taken from the Magisterium of various Popes, to signify the continuity in history of the message of the Church.


The "Spei Satelles" mission, carrying forward the message given and the appeal made on March 27, 2020 and in continuity with the deposit of the book in the world seed bank, in the Svalbard Seed Vault, aims to put in place, in the name of the Holy Father a strong, evocative, universal, engaging gesture that calls humanity to hope and the need for it to be cultivated with concrete, material or spiritual gestures such as the one performed by the Pope in that empty square.

The use of an artificial satellite with the nanobook carries several related messages:

  • The potential positive value of the relationship between science, technology and faith.
  • The inclusiveness value of the project which is materially carried out by young people with the most diverse human, spiritual and physical characteristics, who join the Holy Father to launch a message of hope to the world.
  • The universal value of a gesture, which gives continuity to a message, which embraces the entire globe, as happened with the Statio Orbis broadcast on 27 March. Satellite travel actually involves all the inhabitants of the planet, wherever they are.
  • Space and space exploration are a theme that fascinates and transversally involves all the most diverse generations and cultures across the planet: however, evoking a space exploration that is a source of hope and fraternity, not just the management of powers and of interest.
  • The peculiarity of the objects in orbit in themselves if linked to the Holy See and the Pope, take up the trend of the Popes of the '900 and their Magisterium on these issues, among which, connected to the moon landing, that of Saint Paul VI stands out.
  • The need for a strong call, in times of war, as a sign for peace, for brotherhood, for sharing. A symbolic technology that is a seed of hope.