Pope Francis was cleared by doctors to leave a hospital in Rome on Saturday He was treated For bronchitis, the Vatican said, the pope ate pizza with medical staff one evening and baptized a baby in the pediatrics ward.
Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni, in one of several updates Friday, also said Francis would be in St. Peter’s Square for the Palm Sunday Mass at the start of Holy Week, though he did not say whether the pope would be canonized this time. Especially long service.
“The medical team following His Holiness Pope Francis, after evaluating the results of the tests carried out today and the favorable clinical recovery, confirmed the discharge on Saturday,” Bruni said in a written statement Friday night.
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Francis, 86, was hospitalized on Wednesday at the Zemeli Polyclinic, where doctors said the pontiff was receiving intravenous antibiotics to treat his bronchitis.
Calling the pontiff’s medical recovery “normal,” Bruni said earlier in the day that on Thursday evening, “Pope Francis had dinner, a pizza, with all those who are helping him during these days in the hospital,” including doctors, nurses, assistants and Vatican security. workers.
Following the pope’s return to the Vatican hotel, the spokesman said, Palm was expected to be in the square for the Palm Sunday Mass, which officially begins Holy Week that ends with the Easter Mass in the square on April 9.
Medical staff decided to hospitalize him after he returned to his Vatican residence on Wednesday following his customary weekly public audience in St. Peter’s Square. The Vatican said he had experienced difficulty breathing in the previous days.
The Vatican said Thursday that antibiotic treatment for bronchitis had led to a “marked” improvement in his health.
In a video released by the Vatican, Francis is seen baptizing a hospitalized baby a few weeks old.
After telling Mother Francis the boy’s name, Miguel Angel, the pope used a metal hospital tray normally used to hold a syringe to pour water on a sleeping baby’s head, then tried to comfort the baby, who woke up, crying and seemingly exhausted. doing Swat the Pope’s hand away.
Francis then asked the mother to dry her son’s wet forehead. Then he said to him: “When you go to your parish, say that the Pope baptized him.”
Francis was smiling and looking chipper as he visited children being treated for cancer at Gemelli and handed out large, wrapped chocolate Easter eggs.
Earlier in the day, Francis sent out a tweet on Friday, perhaps inspired by his current health challenges.
“When experienced with faith, life’s trials and difficulties purify our hearts, make them humble and thus open more and more to God,” Francis wrote. The tweet carried a hashtag for Lent, the period of the liturgical year emphasizing penance and sacrifice for the joyous church celebration of Easter, which marks the Christian belief that Jesus rose from the dead after his crucifixion.
The Vatican seemed eager to quickly dispel any concerns about the pope’s physical fitness to fully fulfill his duties. Shortly after announcing the discharge date for Francis, the Vatican announced that the pope would meet Monday with the prime minister of Bosnia-Herzegovina in a private audience at the Apostolic Palace.
Palm Sunday Mass usually attracts thousands of faithful, including many pilgrims from abroad, to Rome for Holy Week.
Francis had already stopped celebrating Mass on the main Catholic Church’s holy days due to chronic knee problems, but continued to preside over ceremonies and give homilies.
Holy Week appointments include a late-night Way of the Cross procession marked by prayers on Good Friday at Rome’s Colosseum and Easter Mass on April 9, traditionally followed by a lengthy papal speech delivered from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica.
During Wednesday’s hour-long public audience, Francis appeared visibly in pain at times as he moved and was helped by aides.
In July 2021, Francis underwent surgery at Gemelli Polyclinic after his colon contracted. Francis had part of his lung removed as a young man in Argentina.