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Pope Francis grabs attention with Easter vigil

Vatican City – Pope Francis returned to public view on Saturday to preside over the Easter vigil at St. Peter’s Basilica. A day after an unseasonably cold spell in Rome, the Pope, who had recently fallen ill, was persuaded to skip the night procession at the Colosseum on Good Friday.

Evening services began in the dark. Then the cathedral’s cavernous interior was suddenly bathed in light. This reflects the Christian belief that Jesus rose from the dead through his crucifixion and that good can triumph over evil.

The 86-year-old Pope is recovering from bronchitis and was recently hospitalized for three days. On Sunday, tens of thousands of believers are expected to join the Pope in St. Peter’s Square for Easter Mass and hear his address on world conflicts at the end of Holy Week.

Arriving at the beginning of the Easter vigil in a wheelchair she uses to deal with a sore knee, Francis bears a cross in the wax of a tall candle, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet – alpha and omega. – and figures of the year. The lit candles were then carried by the clergy to the central aisle of the cathedral, past the darkened pews full of believers. Dozens of cardinals and other prelates followed, each holding a small lit candle.

“The church calls on her sons and daughters scattered around the world to come together to watch and pray,” Francis said as the service began.

The all-night cathedral Mass on Christianity’s most important day is an occasion for the Pope to baptize several adults around the world. According to the Vatican, eight of his followers from Albania, the United States, Nigeria, Italy and Venezuela were selected to be baptized at this year’s memorial service.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

https://www.local10.com/news/world/2023/04/08/pope-francis-returns-to-public-eye-for-easter-vigil-mass/ Pope Francis grabs attention with Easter vigil

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