Pope Francis presides over Easter Sunday Mass after skipping Good Friday ceremony for his health

by 24britishtvMarch 31, 2024, 10 a.m. 19
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Francis, 87, had skipped a Good Friday ceremony to preserve his health.

Pope Francis presides over Easter Sunday Mass after skipping Good Friday ceremony for his health

ROME and LONDON -- Pope Francis arrived in St. Peter's Square on Sunday morning to preside over Easter Mass, leading the service two after days after he skipped the Way of the Cross procession on Good Friday.

Francis, 87, had skipped the Good Friday ceremony "to preserve his health" so that he'd be able to attend the Easter Saturday vigil and Sunday Mass and blessing, the Vatican press office said in a statement on Friday. The Vatican said he would watch it from his residence in the Vatican.

Francis, 87, has been battling breathing difficulties after a cold and flue this year, but papal Easter ceremonies are a test for a young man.

Sunday's Mass, commemorating the day Cristians believe Jesus Christ was resurrected, began at 10 a.m. in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican.

The pope was seated in the square in front of the altar but stood to introduce the mass.

After the mass, the pope is expected to impart his Urbi et Orbi blessing from the central loggia of St. Peter’s façade. During this he is expected to appeal for peace around the world and rejoice for this day of hope for the millions of Catholics around the world.

He presided on Saturday over a close to 3 hour Easter vigil in St. Peter’s Basilica, during which he gave an about 10 minute homily and baptized eight new Catholics to the church.

After the mass was over, he waved and smiled at the faithful as he was wheeled up and down the nave in his wheelchair.

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