Pope holds his first post-lockdown audience

Pope Francis on Saturday (June 20) held his first audience since Italy lifted its coronavirus lockdown.

He invited health workers from the country's most affected region.

Doctors and nurses gathered in Vatican's Clementine Hall, wearing masks and respecting social distancing rules.

The pontiff praised them for being "angels" and thanked them for their self-sacrifice and professionalism.

He singled out how doctors and nurses had loaned their cell phones to dying patients so they could say their final goodbyes to their loved ones - calling it, quote, " a gesture of creativity and love".

Italy returned to relative normality on June 3 when Italians were allowed to move between regions again.

But rules such as social distancing in public and wearing masks are still in effect.

Pope Francis' weekly general audience is still being held without the public and being streamed over the internet.

He has resumed giving his Sunday message from his window since St. Peter's Square was reopened last month.