Under the eased measures, museums, including the Vatican Museums, reopened to visitors.
The Vatican Museums, after reopening in June 2020 when Italy’s strict national lockdown ended, were forced to close for another 86 days when restrictions again tightened in early November.
Pope Francis’ Angelus on Feb. 7 will be his second live appearance in recent days. On Tuesday, Feb. 2, he offered Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica for the World Day for Consecrated Life, which has been celebrated each year on the feast of the Presentation of the Lord for the past 25 years.
Late last month, the pope had been forced to cancel three public appearances due to a recurrence of nerve pain that struck him at the end of 2020.
In a private audience with an American news agency on Feb. 1, Francis said that he can usually feel when a flare-up of sciatica is coming on and his doctor will advise him to cancel or postpone events which will require standing for a long period.
But, he told Catholic News Service, his doctor had told him to still “do the Angelus or people will say you are dead.”
Hannah Brockhaus is Catholic News Agency's senior Rome correspondent. She grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, and has a degree in English from Truman State University in Missouri.
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