Pope Francis withdrew last this Friday (31) to preside over the celebration of Vespers and the hymn “Te Deum” at St. Peter’s Basilica, which marks the end of the liturgical year at the Vatican.
At the age of 85, Jorge Bergoglio attended the event, although, contrary to what was scheduled, he did not order the celebration, which was led by Cardinal Giovanni Battista Rey.
One aspect that indicates that the change was decided at the last minute is that the chair assigned to the Pope was only placed in front of the benches shortly before the start of the Mass. Even Francis entered St Peter’s Basilica without his liturgical robes and was seen walking with some difficulty.
“The Pope wanted Cardinal Ray, the dean of the College of Cardinals, to preside over this evening’s ceremony,” he limited himself to saying in the Vatican Press Office. The fact of not leading the celebration spared Francisco from some more tedious tasks, such as the procession, climbing the steps to the altar and kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament.
Nevertheless, the pontiff gave a brief discourse devoted to the value of solidarity. “This era of pandemic caused a sense of loss all over the world. After the first phase of reaction, during which we felt in solidarity, the temptation to ‘save yourself if you can’ spread. But, thank goodness Well, we again reacted with a sense of responsibility,” he said.
In 2020, Bergoglio did not participate in “Te Deum” due to pain in the sciatic nerve. (ANSA).
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