Pope skips Palm Sunday homily but continues service


Vatican City, Pope Francis He left his sermon at the last minute Palm Sunday Continued to preside over mass in St. Peter's Square for thousands of people.
In recent weeks the 87-year-old Pope has been suffering repeatedly bronchitis And influenza and appointed an aide to read his address, but on Sunday his prepared text was not read at all.
It is very unusual for a Pope to skip a sermon entirely on a major event like Palm Sunday.
The Vatican offered no immediate explanation as to why the pope did not attend the sermon. Television coverage only showed the crowd for a few minutes instead of a close-up view of the Pope.
An announcer on Vatican Radio then said that the Pope had decided not to read a sermon. The Pope, wearing red robes, continued to preside and read parts of the Mass.
Cardinals, priests and bishops participated in the service that recounts the enthronement of Jesus according to the Bible. Jerusalem Only a few days earlier he had been betrayed, put on trial, and executed by crucifixion.
He, along with participants in the crowd, laid palm leaves and olive branches at the service, symbolizing the beginning of Holy WeekA busy period leading up to Easter.
Because of his knee ailment, for more than a year Francis has been presiding over Masses sitting at the altar, while a cardinal serves as the chief celebrant.
After the Mass, Francis gave his weekly Sunday Angelus message and blessing.

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