Pope Francis defends the “marginalised” at Palm Sunday mass a day after hospital release

Pope Francis has presided over Palm Sunday Mass, a day after leaving hospital due to bronchitis. In his homily he defended the “abandoned” of the world.

“No one can be marginalised,” he said before thousands of faithful, with his voice still weak.

On a cloudy morning, Francis wore a long, ivory-coloured coat as he was driven into the square.

Ahead of him, scores of prelates and priests and tens of thousands of rank-and-file faithful clutching palm or olive branches filled the square.

Francis, 86, received antibiotics administered intravenously during his three-day stay in hospital. His last previous appearance in St. Peter’s Square was for his regular Wednesday public audience. He was taken to Rome’s Gemelli Policlinic that same day after feeling ill.

Palm Sunday opens a heavy schedule of Holy Week appointments for him.

At the start of the Mass, Francis took his place in a chair before the towering obelisk as a procession of cardinals in bright-red vestments and other faithful moved through the square.

The ceremony recalls Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem in the time leading up to his crucifixion, which Christians mark on Good Friday.

The Vatican on Saturday said Francis would preside at the Holy Week ceremonies, which culminate with Easter Sunday Mass in the square on April 9.


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