Pope Francis attended a Palm Sunday service in St Peter’s Square just a day after being released from the hospital after successfully treating a severe bout of bronchitis.
He was driven into the massive esplanade, sitting in the back of an open-top vehicle as it passed through the crowds, before descending and beginning the service beneath an ancient Egyptian obelisk.
The pope, 86, was taken to Rome’s Gemelli hospital on Wednesday after complaining of breathing difficulties, but recovered quickly following an infusion of antibiotics and returned to his Vatican residence on Saturday.
Palm Sunday marks the start of Holy Week leading up to Easter Sunday on April 9 this year. Its numerous events will test the pope’s stamina.