Pope Francis presides over the solemn Palm Mass this Sunday in San Pedro Square, a few hours after leaving the Roman hospital where he was hospitalized for three days due to bronchitis.
As on other occasions and because he uses a wheelchair due to knee pain, Francisco officiates the ceremony sitting in the center of the altar. Leonardo Sandri, vice dean of the college of cardinals, who is about to turn 80, is Francis’s replacement for the Eucharist this Sunday.
Despite his recent illness and the fact that he will spend several hours outdoors, Francisco will later appear at the window of the Apostolic Palace for the Sunday Angelus.
The health of the 86-year-old Argentine pontiff raised concerns after he was hospitalized for respiratory difficulties.
But even when he was considered out of danger, he planned the doubt about his departure date and his eventual attendance at the Holy Week rites, which begin with the Palm mass.
Those doubts were cleared up on Friday, when the Vatican announced that Francis would be discharged the next day and that he would participate in the Church’s most significant week, which commemorates the death and resurrection of Christ according to the Gospel accounts.
The health of the 86-year-old Argentine pontiff raised concerns after he was hospitalized for respiratory difficulties. (Reuters)
The celebrations will continue until the Easter mass on Sunday, April 9.
The Argentine pope is determined to fulfill his work schedule and has wanted to show the world that he has recovered.
“I’m still alive,” he joked to the faithful and journalists as he left the Gemelli hospital in Rome.
Asked how he felt, he told an anecdote about the death and added: “I only felt discomfort, but I was not afraid.”
This Sunday’s mass opens an exhausting week for the elderly pontiff, which includes the “In Coena Domini” mass on Holy Thursday in the Casal del Marmo juvenile prison in Rome.
The pope’s spokesman, Matteo Bruni, announced that the mass in that institution will be celebrated “privately”, at a time yet to be set.
This Sunday’s mass opens an exhausting week for the elderly pontiff, which includes the “In Coena Domini” mass on Holy Thursday in the Casal del Marmo juvenile prison in Rome. (Reuters)
When he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio used to visit prisons on Holy Thursday and practice there the rite of washing the feet of the poor, marginalized and homeless.
For the nocturnal Via Crucis on Good Friday in the Roman Colosseum, which is usually attended by faithful and tourists from all over the world, the programming is not yet known.
If his favorable evolution is confirmed, it is likely that on Easter Sunday, on the occasion of the “Urbi et Orbi” blessing to the city and the world, the Pope will appear from the central loggia of Saint Peter’s Basilica to read the traditional message about the problems of the world.
(With information from AFP)
Pope Francis was discharged after three nights hospitalized for bronchitis: “I’m still alive” The Pope’s message after receiving medical discharge: “I thank everyone for their closeness and prayers”
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