Pope Francis Cancels Event After Falling Ill Amid Italy’s Coronavirus Crisis

Pope Francis canceled a planned Mass in Rome after he was seen blowing his nose and coughing during yesterdays Ash Wednesday mass.

The news comes a day after the pontif was seen touching masked well-wishers in St Peter’s Square.

The Sun reports: He was due to worship today with clergy at St John Lateran basilica on the other side of Rome, but stayed in the Santa Marta guesthouse where he lives in the Vatican.

Spokesman Matteo Bruni said: “Because of a slight indisposition, he preferred to stay inside Santa Marta.

“All other commitments will go ahead.”

It is not clear what his symptoms were, but he was seen blowing his nose and coughing during an Ash Wednesday service in St Peter’s yesterday.

Earlier yesterday – the first day of Lent – Francis appeared in good spirits as he greeted a large crowd at a general audience in St Peter’s Square.

Many of the faithful wore face masks, but others did not as they embraced the Holy Father.