Pope Francis to take part in Easter Vigil, Vatican says

By Thomson Reuters Mar 30, 2024 | 7:05 AM

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis is scheduled to take part in an Easter Vigil service on Saturday as planned following his last-minute cancellation from the Good Friday procession at Rome’s Colosseum, the Vatican said.

A Vatican statement listed the evening service in St Peter’s Basilica as the pope’s only public engagement for the day.

On Friday, the Vatican said Francis’ participation at the “Via Crucis” (Way of the Cross) procession had been cancelled “to preserve his health” ahead of more Easter week events.

Francis, who is 87, needs a wheelchair or a cane to move around, and has recently limited his public speaking while struggling with bronchitis and the flu.

Easter falls on Sunday and is the most important date in the Church’s liturgical calendar, celebrating the day Christians believe Jesus rose from the dead.

During the day, Francis is due to celebrate Mass and deliver his twice-yearly “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and world) message and blessings from the central balcony of St Peter’s.

(Reporting by Alvise Armellini; Editing by Helen Popper)