Pope Francis has urged people not to “yield to fear” over coronavirus, calling on them to be “messengers of life in a time of death”.
The leader of the Roman Catholic Church was speaking at his Easter vigil service in an almost empty St Peter’s Basilica.
Members of the world’s 1.3 billion Catholic community could follow a live stream of the service.
Lockdown measures are still in place across Italy, hard hit by the pandemic.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte praised the Pope for his “gesture of responsibility” in marking Easter without a congregation.
Christians around the world are celebrating Easter, the most important festival in the Christian calendar, despite the restrictions that have left hundreds of millions confined to their homes. Many priests are conducting services in churches without congregations.