World News

Pope Francis leads Easter vigil at St. Peter’s after skipping Colosseum procession on Good Friday

[ad_1]

The pope presided over Saturday evening’s Easter vigil at the Vatican, a day after skipping the Good Friday procession to the Colosseum as a health precaution.

Pope Francis entered St. Peter’s Basilica in a wheelchair, took a seat and said the opening prayer.

Looking congested and sometimes out of breath, the pontiff blessed a Paschal candle, the flame of which was then shared with other candles in the cathedral.

More than an hour later, Francis delivered a 10-minute homily in a loud voice, clearing his throat from time to time.

Pope Francis leaves after the Easter Vigil in St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, March 30, 2024. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
Picture:
Photo: Reuters


The evening service, one of the most important times in the Catholic calendar, commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ and includes the baptism of eight adult converts to Catholicism.

The Vatican said Francis jumped the Good Friday procession to ensure his participation both in the Saturday evening vigil, which generally lasts about two hours, and in the Easter Sunday mass a few hours later.

The 87-year-old man suffered from respiratory problems all winter which prevented him from speaking at length.

The Vatican reported having bronchitis, cold or flu.

Francis, who had part of a lung removed when he was young, canceled some hearings and often asked an aide to read aloud some of his speeches.

Pope Francis leaves after the Easter Vigil in St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, March 30, 2024. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
Picture:
Photo: Reuters


Concerns were raised when he completely abandoned his Palm Sunday homily last week, then suddenly decided on Friday to stay home rather than preside over the Stations of the Cross procession at the Colosseum.

The Vatican said the decision was taken to “preserve his health”.

Francis also skipped the freezing Good Friday procession last year because he was recovering from bronchitis.

[ad_2]

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button