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Pope Francis to lead Palm Sunday services day after leaving hospital

Pope Francis has led Mass in St Peter's Square on Sunday, kicking off the year's Easter services, just a day after leaving hospital.

He oversaw the Palm Sunday ceremony in front of more than 30,000 faithful, followed by the Angelus prayer.

He was admitted to Rome's Gemelli Hospital on Wednesday with breathing difficulties, and later diagnosed with bronchitis.

Upon being discharged on Saturday, the Pope joked that he was "still alive".

"I just felt a malaise, but I wasn't afraid," Italian news agency Ansa quoted him as saying on Saturday.

After being discharged, the pontiff was seen smiling and waving from his car, before getting out to speak to a crowd.

Instead of heading home, his car drove past the Vatican and stopped at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. When he came out after praying, people on the street applauded and shouted: "Long live the Pope!"


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