Pope Francis presided over Mass in St. Peter’s Square on Palm Sunday after being treated for bronchitis at a Rome hospital. Despite his hoarseness, Francis read a 15-minute homily focusing on extreme pain, rejection, betrayal, and abandonment. He cited specific examples, including broken marriages, social injustice, oppression, and the solitude of sickness. Francis’ Holy Week schedule included more intense prayer for the “martyred Ukrainian people” and a Holy Thursday Mass at a juvenile prison in Rome. Holy Week culminates on April 9 with Easter Sunday Mass. During the Mass, Francis greeted the Romans, tourists, and pilgrims and thanked them for their participation and prayers. The pontiff smiled and waved to the faithful aboard the open-topped popemobile on a nearly 20-minute drive through the square.

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