Pope Francis presides over this Sunday the solemn mass of Palms in the square of San Pedroa few hours after leaving the Roman hospital where he was hospitalized for three days for bronchitis.
As on other occasions and because he uses a wheelchair due to his knee pain, Francisco officiates the ceremony seated in the center of the altar. Leonardo Sandri, Vice Dean of the College of Cardinalswho is about to turn 80, is Francisco’s replacement for the Eucharist this Sunday.
Despite his recent illness and the fact that he will spend several hours outdoors, Francis will later appear at the window of the Apostolic Palace for the Sunday Angelus.
The health of the 86-year-old Argentine pontiff raised concerns after his hospitalization for respiratory difficulties.
But even when he was considered out of danger, he planned the doubt about his departure date and his eventual attendance at the Holy Week riteswhich begin with the Palm mass.
Those doubts were cleared up on Friday, when the Vatican announced that Francis would be discharged the following day and that he would participate in the Church’s most significant week, which commemorates the death and resurrection of Christ according to the Gospel account.
The celebrations will continue until Paschal mass on Sunday April 9.
The Argentine pope is determined to fulfill his work schedule and has wanted to show the world that he has recovered.
“I’m still alive”, he said jokingly to the faithful and journalists, leaving the gemelli hospital from Rome.
Asked how he felt, he told an anecdote about death, adding: “I only felt discomfort, but I was not afraid”.
an exhausting week
This Sunday’s mass opens an exhausting week for the elderly pontiff, which includes the mass “In Coena Domini” on Holy Thursday in juvenile jail Casal del Marmo in Rome.
The pope’s spokesman Matteo Bruni, He announced that the mass in that institution will be celebrated “privately”, at a time yet to be set.
When he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio He used to visit the prisons on Holy Thursday and practice there the rite of washing the feet of the poor, marginalized and homeless.
For him Via Crucis at night on Good Friday in the Roman Colosseumwhich is usually attended by faithful and tourists from all over the world, The schedule is not yet known.
If its favorable evolution is confirmed, it is probable that the Easter Sundayon the occasion of the “Urbi et Orbi” blessingto the city and to the world, the Pope appears from the central loggia of Saint Peter’s Basilica to read the traditional message on the problems of the world.
(With information from AFP)
Pope Francis was discharged after three nights hospitalized for bronchitis: “I’m still alive”
The Pope’s message after receiving medical discharge: “I thank everyone for their closeness and their prayers”