Categories: World News

Pope Appears For New Year For First Time Since Illness Revealed

This handout photo taken and released on January 1, 2021 by the Vatican Media shows Pope Francis holding a weekly live streamed private audience in the library of the apostolic palace in The Vatican, during the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus. (Photo by – / VATICAN MEDIA / AFP)


Pope Francis appeared in public Friday for the first time since skipping New Year’s masses at St Peter’s Basilica because of a bout of sciatica.

Standing behind a desk and next to a Christmas tree and a nativity scene, the pontiff led the traditional Angelus prayers in the Apostolic Palace.

“I send you all my best wishes for peace and serenity in the new year,” he said.

“The painful events which marked the life of humanity last year, in particular the pandemic, taught us how necessary it is to take an interest in the problems of others and share their concerns.”

The Vatican announced Thursday that Francis would be unable to celebrate New Year’s masses Thursday evening and Friday morning because he was suffering from sciatica, a chronic nerve condition causing hip pain for the 84-year-old.

Shortly before Christmas, two cardinals in the pope’s entourage contracted Covid-19, raising fears that Francis, who rarely wears a mask, risked infection.

During Italy’s first lockdown in March, Francis initially delivered his Sunday Angelus prayers from the Vatican library instead of his usual window overlooking crowds on Saint Peter’s Square.

The restriction prompted him to say he felt “caged”, and he made several brief appearances at the window, greeting the few people who ventured out into the vast square.

The pope has a risk factor for the coronavirus aside from his advanced age. When he was 21 years old in 1957, he suffered from severe pleurisy, requiring surgery to remove part of his right lung, according to biographer Austen Ivereigh.

The Vatican has not yet indicated when the pope may be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Nebianet Usaini

Disqus Comments Loading...
Published by
Nebianet Usaini
Tags: Pope Pope Francis

Recent Posts

  • Local

Niger, Akwa Ibom Governors, Others Celebrate IBB @ 80

Governors of Niger, Akwa Ibom and Sokoto states today met in Minna, the Niger State capital to celebrate with former…

11 hours ago
  • Politics

Petroleum Act Will Help Regulate Environmental Hazards – Uzodinma

Governor of Imo State Hope Uzodinma has said that the signing of the Petroleum Industry Bill 2021 into law will…

12 hours ago
  • Sports

AFCON 2021: Nigeria Grouped With Egypt, Sudan

  The Super Eagles of Nigeria have been grouped in Group D with Egypt in the 2021 edition of the…

12 hours ago
  • World News

Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai: ‘I Fear For My Afghan Sisters’

  Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai on Tuesday wrote "I fear for my Afghan sisters" in an op-ed published in…

13 hours ago
  • World News

US Hopes Taliban Will ‘Respect Rights Of’ Afghans

  The United States called Tuesday on the Taliban to follow through on promises made after their takeover of Afghanistan…

13 hours ago
  • Local

Take Up Arms Against Bandits, Masari Tells Katsina Residents

Governor of Katsina State, Aminu Bello Masari, has called on residents in the areas prone to banditry to acquire weapons…

14 hours ago