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ROME – Pope Francis is canceling a trip to Florence and has decided not to preside over upcoming Ash Wednesday commemorations because he has “acute” knee pain, the Vatican announced Friday.

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“Due to acute gonalgia, for which his doctor has prescribed a period of more rest for his leg, Pope Francis will not be able to travel to Florence on Sunday, Feb. 27, or preside over Ash Wednesday celebrations on March 2,” the Vatican said in a statement, according to the Catholic News Agency.

The 85-year-old Francis, who suffers from sciatica nerve pain, recently has had an inflamed right knee ligament, The Associated Press reported.

The pope originally had planned to address Mediterranean bishops and mayors, as well as celebrate Mass, during a half-day visit to Florence on Sunday, according to the AP. He also had been scheduled to preside over next week’s Ash Wednesday commemorations and participate in a short procession in Rome’s Aventine neighborhood, according to the AP.

The Vatican went on to post Francis’ agenda for an April visit to Malta, indicating that he plans to make the trip, the AP reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.