Pope back on schedule after battling short illness
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Pope back on schedule after battling short illness

After falling ill Monday, Francis holds hour-long audience outdoors despite high temperatures

Pope Francis delivers his blessing during a solemn canonization ceremony of  John XXIII and John Paul II in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, April 27, 2014. (AP/Alessandra Tarantino)
Pope Francis delivers his blessing during a solemn canonization ceremony of John XXIII and John Paul II in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, April 27, 2014. (AP/Alessandra Tarantino)

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis presided over a scorching hot audience in St. Peter’s Square in seemingly good form after cancelling two days of meetings due to an illness.

Francis began his weekly Wednesday audience about an hour early, meeting with sick and disabled pilgrims who were moved to an indoor Vatican auditorium to spare them the searing 34-degree Celsius (93-degree Fahrenheit) temperatures in the piazza.

Francis told them: “We thought you’d be better off in here, where it’s a bit cooler, and not under that burning sun.”

Afterward, Francis presided as usual over the hour-long audience outdoors. He made off-the-cuff remarks denouncing corrupt businessmen, human trafficking and forced child labor.

The 77-year-old pontiff came down with an unspecified illness on Monday, cancelled his audiences and took Tuesday to rest.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press

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