Pope Francis celebrated Mass before taking a long ride in the popemobile to greet the thousands of pilgrims in the square.
Pope Francis presided over Easter Sunday Mass on April 17, 2022, in front of around 50,000 faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square under a spring sun and in front of a flower-filled square, rediscovering the splendor of the pre-pandemic years. After celebrations confined inside St. Peter’s Basilica in 2020 and 2021, this time the crowds were able to gather in St. Peter’s Square to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ.
Pope Francis, suffering from knee inflammation, delegated the conduct of the Easter Vigil the day before to Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, Dean of the College of Cardinals. But this morning the Holy Father presided over the Easter Sunday liturgy. According to tradition, he did not deliver a homily, having just delivered the Easter homily at the Vigil.
The Gospel of the Resurrection, sung in Latin then in Greek, was followed by a time of silent meditation. This pattern is usual at Easter, because the Urbi and orbi blessing gives the Pope the opportunity to offer his Paschal meditation.
While on Palm Sunday, April 10, the pope arrived directly by car at the altar, this time he was able to take part in the entrance procession when he arrived in the square for the celebration of mass.
During the universal prayer, the intention for the faithful departed was read in Ukrainian: “May the Father of Glory, who has promised new heavens and a new earth, grant to our deceased brothers and sisters to participate in the Passover eternal, with the Virgin Mary and all the saints,” reads a young Ukrainian woman.
At the end of the Mass, Pope Francis, smiling and appearing to have better mobility than at previous Easter Triduum liturgies, warmly greeted the cardinals present. He also greeted several extremely moved people with disabilities.
He was able to take a long tour of St. Peter’s Square in the popemobile, before the Urbi and orbi blessing scheduled for noon from the loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica.
This is his second appearance in the loggia since the start of the pandemic: on December 25, 2021, he was also able to give his blessing to the faithful in front of Saint Peter’s Square, which was open to the faithful.
He delivered his Urbi and orbi messages for Easter 2020 and 2021 from inside St. Peter’s Basilica, and his 2020 Christmas message from the Hall of Blessings in the Apostolic Palace, before a small audience.