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Friday, April 19, 2024

Holy Saturday. The Pope arrived at the service in the Vatican

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The service on Holy Saturday is the longest in the liturgical year. The solemn mass was preceded in the vestibule of the Vatican basilica by the rite of consecration of the fire and preparation of the paschal candle, i.e. a large candle symbolizing the Risen Christ. Then there was a procession with the Paschal candle to the main altar of the temple.

During mass the pope baptized eight adults: four z Italian, two from South Korea and one each from Albania and Japan. People gathered in St. Peter's Basilica about six thousands of people.

Holy Saturday. Pope Francis spoke about “longing for peace”

In his homily, the pope referred to the image of Jesus' grave, covered with stone. He recalled the women's question from the Gospel according to Saint Mark: “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?”

– This stone, being an insurmountable obstacle, was a symbol of what the women carried in their hearts, the end of their hopes: everything crashed on it, with the dark secret of tragic pain that prevented the fulfillment of their dreams – explained the pope. – Brothers and sisters, it can happen to us too. Sometimes we feel that the entrance to our heart is burdened with a grave stone that suppresses life, extinguishes trust, traps us in a tomb of fears and bitterness, blocks the path to joy and hope – he noted.

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As the Holy Father noted, these are “stones of death.” Pope Francis said that they can be encountered in experiences and situations “robbing us of our enthusiasm and strength to keep going.”

This is true, he added, “in the sufferings that touch us and in the deaths of people dear to us, which leave us with an overwhelming emptiness; in the failures and fears that prevent us from doing all the good that we hold dear; in all the closures that hamper our impulse of generosity and they do not allow us to open to love; within the armored walls of selfishness and indifference that destroy the effort to build more just cities and societies tailored to man.

Francis then spoke about “longing for peaceshattered by the cruelty of hatred and the brutality of war.” – When we experience these disappointments – he added – we also ask ourselves with concern: who will roll away the stone from the grave? – he said.

And he spoke of a “flame” of hope and life for nations “broken by evil and scourged by injustice, nations without a place, nations of martyrs.” – This is the Lord's Passover, this is the feast of the living.

Stations of the Cross in Rome. Pope Francis did not appear at the service

On Good Friday, Pope Francis celebrated a service in the Basilica of St. Peter. After hours 21 The Holy Father was supposed to preside over the Way of the Cross, but moments before it began, the Vatican press office reported that for the sake of “preserving the health” of the Pope he observes the Stations of the Cross from Saint Martha's House, where he lives.

People gathered around the Roman Colosseum 25 thousand people. Everyone was waiting for Pope Francis, but his chair on the Palatine Hill was empty. The entire area was surrounded by reinforced security patrols.

Due to the Pope's absence from the Stations of the Cross on Friday, there was concern among both the faithful and the Italian media. “Even late in the afternoon on Saturday, Franciszek's presence was expected, but it was known that the decision would be made at the last minute. Ultimately, just like last year, prudence prevailed” – assessed the daily “Corriere della Sera”.

In turn, the Avvenire portal, citing the announcement issued by Vaticanpointed to “prudence reasons.”

The health condition of Pope Francis

For over a month, Franciszek has had problems with his voice due to a respiratory infection he suffered. Due to his health condition, the Holy Father was unable to deliver a sermon several times, including: last Sunday.

His colleagues also read the texts of his speeches many times, but on Palm Sunday the sermon was completely omitted and the pope continued the service. In March, during one of his audiences, the Pope announced: – I have not recovered and cannot read the speech.

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“We are still a Christian country.” Buczek and Terlikowski in “Guest of Events”/Polsat News/Polsat News



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