Pope Returns for Easter Vigil

Recovering after hospitalization, Francis had skipped Good Friday procession
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 8, 2023 4:50 PM CDT
Pope Touts Renewal of Easter
Cardinals hold candles as Pope Francis presides over an Easter vigil ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on Saturday.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Pope Francis returned to public view on Saturday, presiding over Easter vigil Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, a day after unseasonably chilly weather in Rome persuaded him to skip Good Friday's nighttime procession at the Colosseum. The evening basilica service began in darkness. Then the basilica's cavernous interior was suddenly bathed in light, reflecting the Christian beliefs that Jesus rose from his death by crucifixion and that goodness can triumph over evil. The 86-year-old pope is recuperating from bronchitis, which saw him hospitalized on March 29 for three days. On Sunday, tens of thousands of faithful are expected to join the pope in St. Peter's Square for Easter Mass at the end of Holy Week.

In his homily, Francis sought to spur Catholics to be renewed by Easter. "At times, we may simply feel weary about our daily routine, tired of taking risks in a cold, hard world where only the clever and the strong seem to get ahead,'' Francis said. "At other times, we may feel helpless and discouraged before the power of evil." He cited other sources of discouragement: "the attitudes of calculation and indifference that seem to prevail in society, the cancer of corruption, the spread of injustice, the icy winds of war." But Easter "motivates us to move forward," he said, "to leave behind our sense of defeat, to roll away the stone of the tombs in which we often imprison our hope."

(More Pope Francis stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.