Pope Rallies from Illness to Deliver Easter Mass

(RepublicanNews.org) – After suffering a winter of respiratory illnesses, Pope Francis managed to lead Easter worship for 60,000 attendees on Easter Sunday, March 31st. The 87-year-old led Mass from the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Square after canceling original plans to lead a Good Friday service, with a statement from the Vatican explaining that the cancellation was to ensure his good health for Sunday’s worship.

After being forced to miss Good Friday’s service along with many other recent events in the church calendar due to illness, the Pope was able to deliver the full “Urbi et Orbi”, a papal blessing that is given each Easter and Christmas. Speaking to the crowds gathered, he also expressed his wish to see a cease-fire between Israel and the terrorist group Hamas as well as the release of hostages taken during the deadly raid on Israel on October 7th, 2023.

The Pope took the opportunity to speak about several other issues affecting people around the world, including food shortages, the effects of climate change, human trafficking, Haiti, Rohingya, and the Russia-Ukraine war, now entering the second year following Russia’s invasion.

Pope Francis, who arrived by wheelchair to give Mass, declined to join the annual procession due to his health concerns but managed to give the full two-and-a-half-hour Mass without any hitch in proceedings. The Argentinian, who only has one lung after having one removed as a teen due to a serious infection, had previously indicated that he was open to stepping down from his position as head of the Catholic Church, should his health worsen considerably. However, in a memoir published in March, he wrote that he did not see any reason to step down yet.

Although he has had to cancel several services and delegations in recent months and has needed to use a wheelchair more and more, Pope Francis recently stated that he oversees the Church with his head, rather than his legs, brushing aside concerns that his poor health would prevent him from performing his duties.

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