Pope Francis, crowd mark Easter in flower-adorned Vatican square
VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis joined dozens of prelates and thousands of pilgrims and tourists in St. Peter’s Square to open the celebration of Mass on Easter Sunday, where spring flowers brightened the vast space.
Orange-red tulips, yellow sprays of forsythia and daffodils, and other colorful seasonal blooms were trucked in from the Netherlands on Saturday and installed in planters to decorate the Vatican square, which was bustling with Rome residents and Holy Week tourists on Sunday. filled up city
According to Vatican security services, about 45,000 people had gathered by the start of the mid-morning mass.
At the beginning of the Easter celebration, inspired by Easter’s belief that Jesus rose from the dead after his crucifixion, Francis sprinkled holy water and felt somewhat weary as he recited the liturgical words in Latin. done
A terrace at the edge of the steps at the intersection sheltered the pontiff, who returned to public view 12 hours after a 2.25-hour-long Easter vigil in St. Peter’s Basilica the night before.
Still recovering from bronchitis, Francis, 86, skipped the traditional Good Friday procession at Rome’s Colosseum due to unseasonably cold overnight temperatures.
Sunday was breezy, but temperatures rose sharply after a day of rain and strong winds in Rome.
At the end of the Mass, Francis was scheduled to give a speech that pontiffs give at Christmas and Easter. Known by its Latin name, “Urbi et Orbi,” which means for the city and the world, the message is an opportunity to denounce wars and injustices around the world, including religious persecution.
Francis is back to normal after a three-day stay last week in a hospital in Rome where he was given intravenous antibiotics for bronchitis.
He was discharged on April 1.
Except for the Colosseum Way of the Cross torch-lit procession, he has stuck to a heavy schedule of Holy Week public appearances.