Pope Francis presided over the Easter Vigil Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica this Saturday.after giving up the Via Crucis at the Colosseum to take care of his health, and in the homily He asked “for despair to go away” for “the people destroyed by evil and hit by injustice.”

In this long celebration of more than two hours, which commemorates the wait for the resurrection of Jesus, the pope participated in all the rites and read with a good voice, after this Friday he decided at the last minute not to go to the Colosseum to The Via Crucis.
In his homily he made reference “because sometimes we feel that a tombstone has been placed heavily at the entrance to our heartsuffocating life, extinguishing trust, locking ourselves in the tomb of fears and bitterness.”

The Pope called them “death pitfalls” and said that “they are all the experiences and situations that steal our enthusiasm and strength to move forward.”

And among them he cited “the deaths of our loved ones, which leave voids in us that are impossible to fill; in failures,” “the walls of selfishness and indifference, which repel the commitment to build cities and societies that are more just and dignified for the man” and “all the longings for peace broken by the cruelty of hatred and the ferocity of war.”

The pope then assured that “Jesus is our Passover, the one who makes us go from darkness to light, who has joined us forever and saves us from the abysses of sin and death, drawing us towards the luminous impetus of forgiveness and eternal life.

Francis then addressed the “peoples destroyed by evil and hit by injustice, peoples without land, peoples who are martyrs” so that drive away “the singers of despair on this night.”

The ceremony, one of the longest in the tradition and loaded with symbolism, began with the blessing of the fire in the atrium of the basilica and the lighting of the paschal candle. The Pope marked the candle with the inscription of the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet – alpha and omega – which symbolize that God is the beginning and the end in a totally dark basilica.

Afterwards, the traditional procession took place with the entry of the concelebrants in total silence and in the dark and with only the candles lit to represent the absence of light after the death of Jesus Christ.

Only after the deacon He pronounced the phrase three times ‘Light of Christ’ (The Light of Christ) The lights of the basilica were turned on and the mass began before 6,000 faithful.

This long ceremony follows the tradition of the early years of the Church, that of the catechumens, the adults who aspired to convert to Christianity and, therefore, the blessing of water was also celebrated, and Francis baptized eight adults of different nationalities: four Italians, two Koreans, one Japanese and one Albanian.

In this Vatican Holy Week, it has not been possible to enjoy the presence behind the altar of the imposing baldachin of Saint Peter by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, as it remains covered as a restoration is being carried out in view of next year’s Jubilee.

The Pope decided this Friday to last minute not to go to the Via Crucis in the Colosseum to “safeguard your health” since in recent days he has been suffering from respiratory problems while both today’s ceremony and Sunday’s Resurrection mass were confirmed.

Source: https://www.noticiascaracol.com/mundo/papa-francisco-presidio-la-vigilia-pascual-y-oro-por-los-pueblos-destruidos-por-el-mal-cb20

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