Pope Francis, 86, was discharged this Saturday from the hospital where he was hospitalized for three days due to bronchitis, and returned to the Vatican to prepare for the Holy Week celebrations.
“I’m still alive,” the Argentine pontiff joked to the faithful and journalists gathered outside the Gemelli hospital in Rome.
The pope, who was smiling and in good spirits, got out of his car to greet them, before heading to the Vatican. Before leaving in a white Fiat 500 car, Francis hugged a couple whose daughter died Friday night at the hospital, the Vatican said.
Also he thanked the medical staff and the journalists who were waiting for him at the exit from the medical center.
Francisco was greeted with applause by the people who had gathered there hoping to see him. The Vatican confirmed that it will be able to preside over the Palm Mass in Saint Peter’s Square tomorrow Sundaywhich marks the beginning of the rites of Holy Week.
As on other occasions and because he uses a wheelchair due to knee pain, he will only preside over the ceremony, which will be celebrated by the Argentine cardinal Leonardo Sandri.
Before entering his residence in the Vatican, he stopped for a few minutes to pray in the church of Santa Maria Maggiore, in the center of Rome, a personal tradition he fulfills before each trip abroad.
“Happy Easter and pray for me,” the pope told the Italian television journalist who was waiting for him at the Vatican entrance. The day before he had brought chocolate eggs, rosaries and books to children with cancer who are hospitalized and baptized a newborn.
In a photo released by the Vatican, he was seen recovered, smiling, leaning on a walker, sprinkling the baby’s head with holy water.
The pope had infectious bronchitis.
Francis received antibiotic treatment for infectious bronchitis, which produced “the expected effects with notable improvement,” the pope’s spokesman explained.
The head of the Catholic church suffers from chronic health problems and underwent colon surgery in July 2021. The Vatican said on Wednesday that he was in the Roman hospital for a scheduled check-up, but had to admit hours more late that he was suffering from a “respiratory infection” that required treatment with antibiotics.
The hospitalization surprised public opinion and fueled the debate about his possible resignation for health reasons. Francis has always left open the possibility of emulating his predecessor, Benedict XVI (died 2022), who resigned in 2013. But his messages on this option are mixed.
In July 2022 he said he could “step aside”, but in February he said that the resignation of a pope “should not become a fad” and that such an idea was “not on his agenda at the moment”. The pontiff is constantly cared for by a team of doctors and nurses, either in the Vatican or during his travels.
#alive #Pope #Francis #leaving #hospital #returning #Vatican
Leave a Reply