Pope Francis cancels his participation in the Stations of the Cross at the last minute

Pope Francis cancels his participation in the Stations of the Cross at the last minute

The Vatican announced, on Friday, that the sovereign Pope will not participate in this important event of Holy Week that precedes Easter, for health reasons.

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Pope Francis in St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, March 28, 2024. (ALBERTO PIZZOLI / AFP)

Pope Francis, 87, has canceled his participation in the Stations of the Cross at the Colosseum in Rome on Friday, March 29. “To preserve his health in view of tomorrow’s vigil and Easter Mass, Pope Francis will follow the Stations of the Cross this evening at the Colosseum from his St. Martha’s residence.”The Vatican announced in a press release.

At the time of the announcement, which came just seconds before the ceremony began, organizers removed the pope's chair from a hill in front of the Colosseum. In front of the stunning spectacle of the illuminated Roman amphitheater, thousands of faithful from many countries, often with candles in hand, gathered in silence to witness this highlight of the Holy Week preceding Easter.

“Precaution procedure”

On Friday afternoon, the head of the Catholic Church presided over the Good Friday Mass in St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican as scheduled. In 2023, the Argentine Jesuit had already canceled his participation for health reasons, a few days after being hospitalized for three days due to bronchitis, but this decision was informed in advance, unlike this time.

“This is just a precaution.”A source in the Vatican told Agence France-Presse, confirming the authenticity of the pope who appeared “In the form of” In the last hours, no results “There are no special concerns.”

On Sunday morning, Jorge Bergoglio is scheduled to preside over the Easter Mass in St. Peter's Square before giving the “Urbi et Orbi” (“For the City and the World”) blessing, during which he usually reviews international conflicts.

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