Pope Francis withdrew at the last minute to preside over Friday (31) the celebration of Vespers and the hymn “Te Dome” in St. Peter’s Basilica, which marks the end of the liturgical year in the Vatican.
At the age of 85, Jorge Bergoglio took part in the event, but, contrary to what was scheduled, did not order the celebration led by Cardinal Giovanni Battista Rey.
One aspect that the change was decided at the last minute is that the chair dedicated to the Pope was only placed in front of the seats shortly before the start of Mass. Francis entered St. Peter’s Basilica without his liturgical clothes and seemed to be walking with difficulty.
“The Pope wanted Cardinal Ray, Dean of the College of Cardinals, to preside over this evening’s celebration,” he said only in the Vatican press office. The fact that he did not lead the celebration saved Francisco from some tiring work, such as procession, climbing the steps of the altar and kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament.
However, the Pope gave a brief homily on the value of solidarity. “This era of the pandemic has created a sense of loss throughout the world. After an initial phase of reaction, during which we felt solidarity, the temptation to ‘save yourself if you can’ spread. But, thank God, we responded again with a sense of responsibility.”
In 2020, Bergoglio did not participate in the T-Dium due to pain in the sciatic nerve. (Ansa).
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