Pope Francis is urging Catholics to get vaccinated against COVID-19, calling the move an “act of love.”

The Pope’s call to get the COVID vaccine came in a video message released Tuesday night that was produced by the nonprofit group Ad Council and was directed at Catholics in North and South America. In it, he says “small, individual gestures” are capable of “transforming and improving societies.”

He continued in the video, where he was joined by a number of bishops and cardinals from the Americas, by praising the researchers and scientists that developed the COVID vaccines, saying, “Thanks to God’s grace and to the work of many, we now have vaccines to protect us from COVID-19.”

He added that vaccines “bring hope to end the pandemic, but only if they are available to all and if we collaborate with one another.”

Francis emphasized how getting vaccinated is an “act of love,” saying it is “love for oneself, love for our families and friends, and love for all peoples. Love is also social and political.”

“Getting vaccinated is a simple yet profound way to care for one another, especially the most vulnerable,” he added.

The Pope then prayed in the video, saying that “each one of us can make his or her own small gesture of love. No matter how small, love is always grand. Small gestures for a better future.”

Mexican Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Rete, who was also featured in the video, said that COVID vaccinations are the path to a better future for all.

“From North to South America, we support vaccinations for all,” he said.

The Pope was vaccinated against the virus in January. He has previously stated that the COVID vaccine is morally acceptable and an ethical obligation for Catholics, as reported by The New York Times.

Pope Francis
Pope Francis arrives in the holy shrine city of Najaf for his extraordinary meeting with Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani. Al-Iraqiya TV