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HomeChurch and MinistryPope Francis Presides Over Palm Sunday Following Recovery from Sickness

Pope Francis Presides Over Palm Sunday Following Recovery from Sickness

Vatican City – Pope Francis, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, presided over the traditional Palm Sunday mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City following his recovery from a brief illness.

The pontiff appeared in stable health as he waved to the people from behind an open van. He led the procession, which marks the start of Holy Week and commemorates Jesus Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem. However, due to his recovery position, he was not able to participate in all events of the Palm Sunday.

The Pope’s illness, which he referred to as a “respiratory infection,” caused him to cancel several engagements last week. He was hospitalized for several days as a precaution but was discharged and allowed to return to the Vatican to continue his recovery.

Pope Francis addressed the congregation in St. Peter’s Square, where thousands of people had gathered to receive palm branches and olive branches, which are symbols of peace and victory.  “Today their numbers are legion. Entire peoples are exploited and abandoned; the poor live on our streets and we look the other way; migrants are no longer faces but numbers, prisoners are disowned; people written off as problems,” he said.

Pope Francis had appreciated those that prayed for his quick recovery in a Twitter post, where he also talked about the preparation into the Holy Week and the Palm Sunday. His posts had attracted thousands of likes and shares.

The significance of Palm Sunday is a reminder of the “paradox” of Christ’s mission, as Jesus came not as a conqueror but as a humble servant, and that he chose to enter Jerusalem on a donkey rather than a horse, as a sign of his meekness and humility.

Pope Francis also touched on the themes of sacrifice and suffering, which are central to the Holy Week observances. He spoke about the difficulties and challenges that people face in their lives, but urged them to remain steadfast in their faith and to look to Jesus as a model of selflessness and courage.

The Pope’s recovery from illness was welcomed by Catholics around the world, many of whom had expressed concern for his well-being. The pontiff is known for his compassion and empathy, and his teachings have emphasized the importance of social justice, peace, and environmental stewardship.

As Holy Week unfolds, the Pope is expected to continue his schedule of public appearances, which includes leading the Way of the Cross ceremony on Good Friday and celebrating Easter Mass on Sunday. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic and his recent illness, the Pope remains a powerful voice of hope and inspiration for Catholics and non-Catholics alike.


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