Pope Francis presided over the Palm Sunday Mass today, one day after leaving the hospital due to bronchitis, and in his homily he defended the “abandoned” of the world: “No one can be marginalized,” he said before thousands of faithful and with the voice still weak during this Eucharist that opens Holy Week.
Francis was taken seated in a convertible vehicle, the “popemobile”, to the center of the square, at the foot of the obelisk, to bless the bouquets of the faithful and members of the Roman Curia who had processed through the place a few moments before.
Before mass, he was taken seated in an open-top car to the center of the square, at the foot of the obelisk, to bless the olive and palm branches that the faithful, nuns, and members of the Curia had carried in procession, recalling the Triumphal entry of Jesus of Nazareth into Jerusalem.
In his first public appearance, after three days hospitalized for bronchitis at the age of 86, Francisco, covered in a long white coat, meditated on the words of Jesus of Nazareth on the Cross, “My God, my God, why did you have you given up?”
In this sense, he explained that “the verb ‘abandon’ in the Bible is strong” and “appears in moments of extreme pain”, and for this reason the memory of Christ should move his followers to “seek and love him in the abandoned” of our time.
“There are so many invisible, hidden, abandoned Christians who are discarded with a white glove: unborn children, the elderly who have been left alone, the sick not visited, the disabled ignored, young people who feel a great emptiness inside without anyone really hearing their cry of pain. ”, exclaimed the Pope during the homily on the first day of Holy Week that commemorates the triumphant entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem.
Thus, he stressed that there are entire towns exploited and abandoned to their fate. “There are poor people who live at the crossroads of our streets, with whom we do not dare to meet eyes; immigrants who are no longer faces but numbers; rejected prisoners, people classified as problems ”, he added.
Francis, who looked pale at times, stood up to say the Angelus at noon, and the crowd applauded as he thanked them for their prayers.
“I thank you for your participation and also for your prayers, which have intensified in recent days. Thank you,” the Pope told the faithful.
Francis celebrated 10 years at the helm of the global Catholic Church in early March. He has pushed through major government reforms and tried to forge a more open and compassionate Church, though he has faced internal opposition, especially from conservatives.
He has repeatedly said that he would consider resigning if his health failed him, but said last month that he has no plans to step down for now.
Pope Francis presided over the Palm Sunday mass from Saint Peter’s Square in the Vatican