Well, Easter is over and that can only mean one thing for Pope Francis- relief. The newest pontiff conducted his first Easter Mass in front of over 250,000 people in St. Peter’s Square this past Sunday. Already unusual for following the first pope, Benedict XVI, to abdicate his position in over 700 years, the first Latin leader of the Catholic Church has further raised eyebrows when he visited a youth detention center in Rome to wash the feet of 12 children- including Muslims and girls on Holy Thursday. Previous popes had only performed this traditional Christian rite with other priests.
The Easter ceremonies in the Vatican are infamously gruelling, involving week-long celebrations that have the Pope ritually conducting masses and interacting with the worshippers. Processions, parade and ritual kept the pope and the many Vatican visitors busy throughout the holiday. Many have noted that Pope Francis has been characteristically energized for most of the ceremonies, choosing to speak outside of scheduled events even, in regards to battling poverty and promoting peace.
Still- it is unlikely that he will join in the traditional Easter celebrations that are held throughout Italy around the holiday. Instead, it is likely that Francis will continue to settle in to his new lifestyle and home in the Vatican. Surrounded by all that the neighborhood has to offer, from the St. Peter’s Basilica to the Square I can’t imagine he will be missing out!