Pope Francis celebrates Palm Sunday in St. Peter’s Square, April 14, 2019. / Vatican Media.
Vatican City, Mar 21, 2022 / 12:23 pm (CNA).
After two years of pandemic restrictions during Holy Week, Pope Francis will once again return to the Colosseum to preside over the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday.
The Vatican has published the pope’s schedule for Holy Week and Easter, confirming that he will preside over large liturgical celebrations in St. Peter’s Square for the first time since 2019.
On Palm Sunday, Pope Francis will offer Mass in St. Peter’s Square on April 10 at 10 a.m. local time. The last time that this liturgy was held in St. Peter’s Square, the Vatican said that more than 40,000 people attended.
In the past two years, papal liturgies during Holy Week were kept very small due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with many events moved to inside St. Peter’s Basilica with extremely limited attendance.
The current Vatican schedule for 2022 does not list the pope’s participation in the Vatican’s Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper. In past years, Pope Francis has chosen to visit a local prison to offer the Mass.
The pope will preside over the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in St. Peter’s Basilica.
On Good Friday, he will preside over the liturgy for the Passion of the Lord in St. Peter’s Basilica at 5 p.m., before heading over to Rome’s Colosseum to lead the Stations of the Cross beginning at 9 p.m.
The pope will offer the Easter Vigil Mass on April 16 in St. Peter’s Basilica at 7:30 p.m. and will also celebrate the Easter Sunday Mass outside in St. Peter’s Square at 10 a.m., after which he will offer the traditional Urbi et Orbi blessing.
Pope Francis will also offer Mass on April 24 for Divine Mercy Sunday in St. Peter’s Basilica.
The Vatican also confirmed that the canonization of Blessed Charles de Foucauld, Titus Brandsma, and eight others will take place in St. Peter’s Square on May 15 at 10 a.m.