Pope presides over Easter Vigil service after skipping Good Friday procession

Pope presides over Easter Vigil service after skipping Good Friday procession

Pope Francis presided over the Vatican’s somber Easter Vigil service on Saturday night time, a day after making the last-minute determination to skip his participation within the Good Friday procession on the Colosseum as a well being precaution.

Francis entered the darkened, silent St Peter’s Basilica in his wheelchair, took his place in a chair and provided a gap prayer, sounding considerably congested and out of breath.

The Vatican had stated Francis skipped the Good Friday procession to make sure his participation within the vigil service Saturday night time, which normally lasts about two hours, and Easter Sunday Mass a number of hours later.

The 87-year-old pope, who had a part of one lung eliminated as a younger man, has been battling respiratory issues all winter which have made it troublesome for him to talk at size. He and the Vatican have stated he has had bronchitis, a chilly or the flu.

Francis has cancelled some audiences and infrequently requested an aide to learn aloud a few of his speeches. However the alarm was raised when he ditched his Palm Sunday homily altogether final week after which determined to not preside over the Manner of the Cross procession on the Colosseum.

The Vatican stated in a short clarification that the choice was made to “preserve his well being”.

Whereas Francis additionally skipped the chilly Good Friday procession final 12 months as a result of he was recovering from bronchitis, his sudden absence from the occasion this 12 months underscored how his well being points have been affecting even main liturgical occasions on the Vatican.

Francis cancelled a visit to Dubai late final 12 months, with simply days to go, on physician’s orders.

Along with his respiratory issues, Francis had part of his giant gut eliminated in 2021 and was hospitalised twice final 12 months, together with as soon as to take away intestinal scar tissue from earlier surgical procedures to deal with diverticulosis, or bulges in his intestinal wall. He has additionally been utilizing a wheelchair or cane for almost two years due to dangerous knee ligaments.

In his just lately printed memoirs, Life: My Story By way of Historical past, Francis stated he was not affected by any well being issues that might require him to resign and that he nonetheless had “many tasks to carry to fruition”.

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