A day after being discharged from the hospital, Pope Francis addressed thousands of his faithful on Palm Sunday mass in St. Peter’s Square. The head of the Roman Catholic church wore his customary long white coat while presiding over the mass.
According to Christian customs, Palm Sunday marks Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem in the time leading up to his crucifixion, which Christians observe on Good Friday. It is one of the longest services on the Church’s calendar as the Pope managed to get through it, despite his voice sounding hoarse, due to the bronchitis infection.
He read a 15-minute long speech and even deviated from the speech on an instance about a homeless German man who died, “alone, abandoned”.
“I, too, need Jesus to caress me,” Francis said.
The upcoming Holy Week is expected to be busy for Pope as he partakes in numerous appointments as well as other shindigs.
Notably, the Pope was admitted to the Agostino Gemelli University Hospital on Wednesday after reportedly experiencing respiratory issues after his weekly public audience.
According to the Vatican, Pope France received antibiotics intravenously for his condition, reported Associated Press. While leaving the hospital, the Pope quipped, “I’m still alive” much to the amusement of reporters.
Pope on multiple occasions has hinted that he may step down, akin to his predecessor Benedict XVI due to poor health.
“I don’t think I can continue doing trips with the same rhythm as before. I think that at my age and with this limitation I have to preserve (my strength) a bit in order to be able to serve the Church, or decide to step aside,” he was quoted as saying last year.