Pope Francis 'Not Able' to Attend Good Friday Way of the Cross Procession

St. Peter's Basilica, Nght, Good Friday

Pope Francis could not attend the Good Friday Way of the Cross procession because of the cold temperature at night in Rome. The pope has recently been discharged from the hospital due to medication for a respiratory illness.

The Holy See has announced that the pontiff will miss the event and instead will watch it from his house in the Vatican. The intense cold was the main reason for the pope's absence, and he would follow the procession from the Santa Marta hotel and pray with those who gathered with the Diocese of Rome at the Colosseum.

Pope Francis' Absence was Due to Temperature Conditions in Rome

In the report in Euro News, Pope Francis has led an early evening prayer service at St. Peter's Basilica celebrating Good Friday, in which it remembers the crucifixion and death of Jesus for humanity. The pope wore crimson-colored vestments and utilized a wheelchair to come to the central area of the basilica and presided over the prayer service. He was in a wheelchair because of chronic knee pain.

In an earlier event, Francis was admitted to the hospital due to bronchitis. He was hastily discharged on April 1 and was expected to celebrate and attend his Holy Week schedule, including the Way of the Cross procession and Mass in St. Peter's Square on Easter Sunday.

Francis listened to a lengthy speech delivered by the official preacher of the Vatican at the Good Friday Basilica ritual. Although he occasionally had an audible rasp while reading aloud and at the conclusion of the nearly two-hour service when he gave his benediction, he stood up once to kiss a statue of Jesus on a tall cross brought to him and then lowered his head in profound contemplation.

Every year, the Celebration of the Good Friday Way of the Cross procession at the Colosseum is an essential event during the Holy Week ceremonies. According to CBS News, this year, the celebration drew about 20,000 people, which they held lighted candles in the darkness outside the arena.

The procession was led by the faithful, who carried a lightweight cross that was tall and slim, and the theme was of the choosing of Pope Francis, in which was "voices of peace in time of war." Several accounts of suffering, specifically those who are victims of war, migrants, civil warfare, and hunger from the different parts of the world, were read aloud.

The experiences of a young Ukrainian who first went to Italy to avoid the conflict in his country but eventually returned and a young Russian whose brother died, maybe after being ordered to fight in Ukraine, which Russia invaded in February 2022, were among those presented. Francis has regularly advocated for peace in the area and expressed his sorrow and sympathy for the suffering of the Ukrainian people.

Also Read: Pope Francis Honors Holy Thursday Tradition, Washing Feet of 12 Young People

Pope Francis Meeting Some Patients in the Hospital Where He was Admitted

Pope Francis met with some patients before leaving the Gemelli Hospital, where he received care and treatment for his bronchitis. According to Fox News, during this visit, he made time to pray with the mother of a five-year-old child who had died the night before.

Before leaving, he also added his signature to a boy's cast on his arm and thanked the hospital staff for their assistance throughout his stay.

Related Article: Pope Francis Undergoes Treatment for Respiratory Illness, Expected to Stay for Several Days in the Hospital