Pope Francis on Friday cancelled his attendance at the Way of the Cross Easter ceremony in Rome at the last minute, the Vatican said, amid fears for the 87-year-old's health.

"To preserve his health ahead of tomorrow's vigil and the Easter Sunday mass, Pope Francis will this evening follow the Way of the Cross at the Coliseum from the Saint Martha Residence," the Vatican said in a statement.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us