GlobalPope skips Palm Sunday homily

Pope skips Palm Sunday homily

Pope Francis decided at the last minute not to read his homily during Palm Sunday Mass in the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Square, avoiding a lengthy speech at the start of a busy Holy Week that will test his increasingly fragile health. .

Suffering from knee discomfort and persistent breathing problems, Francis also did not participate in the procession of cardinals around the obelisk in the square at the beginning of the mass. Instead, the 87-year-old pontiff blessed the olive branches and palms carried by the faithful from the altar.

Francis was scheduled to offer a homily mid-service and had delivered the prayers during the mass. But after several seconds of silence, the announcers indicated that Francis had decided not to read the homily himself.

At the moment, Vatican officials have not explained the reason. The Vatican press office later noted that the homily was replaced by “a moment of silence and prayer.”

However, Francis offered prayers throughout the service and made a long call for peace at the end of the mass. He said he was praying for the families of those killed in what he called an “inhumane” attack on a concert hall in Moscow’s suburbs and also asked for prayers for “martyred Ukraine” and the people of Gaza.

About 60,000 people attended the ceremony, according to Vatican estimates, on a sunny and breezy spring morning. Francis spent several minutes greeting them from the popemobile, circling the square several times at the end of the mass.

Palm Sunday begins a busy week for Francis before Easter Sunday, when the faithful commemorate the resurrection of Christ. The pope is scheduled to go to a women’s prison in Rome on Thursday for the traditional foot-washing ritual. On Friday he hopes to preside over the nighttime performance of the Via Crucis at the Colosseum in Rome, which commemorates the crucifixion of Christ.

The following day the Easter Vigil is celebrated, during which Francis presides over a solemn night service in the basilica, before the Easter Sunday mass in St. Peter’s Square and its blessing at noon from the building.

The Easter calendar is challenging for popes even under the best of circumstances. Especially this year for Francisco. who during the winter presented episodes that he and the Vatican have described as flu, bronchitis or colds. During the last few weeks he has on some occasions asked that an assistant read his homilies and catechism lessons to save effort.

Daily Global Times
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