Pope Francis to miss Good Friday procession due to ‘extremely cold weather’ in Rome

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The 86-year-old, who left hospital on Saturday due to bronchitis, will follow the outdoor service which is held at the Colosseum from his residence.

Pope Francis will miss the Good Friday procession due to “extremely cold weather in Rome”, the Vatican said.

It is the first time the Pope will not preside at the Way of the Cross service, held at the Colosseum, since he was elected in 2013.

He will still attend the indoor Passion of the Lord celebration in St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican, according to spokesperson Matteo Brun.

The temperature in Rome was expected to be about 10C (50 F) on Friday night. The temperature has fallen in recent days and led to light snow outside the city on Thursday.

It comes after the 86-year-old left hospital last weekend following a bout of bronchitis.

After being discharged, the Vatican said he would carry out the complete Holy Week schedule, including the Easter Sunday Mass in St Peter’s Square.

An Easter Sunday blessing is also traditionally held from the basilica’s balcony at midday.

On Thursday the Pope presided over mass and later washed and dried the feet of a dozen residents at the Casal del Marmo juvenile facility, on the outskirts of Rome.

Assuring the individuals of their dignity, the Pope leaned over and poured water on one foot, then used a white towel to gently pat the foot dry before kissing it.

The ritual symbolises the foot-washing that Jesus performed on his 12 apostles on the night before his death.

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