“I’m still alive,” Pope Francis says after leaving hospital

“I’m still alive,” Pope Francis says after leaving hospital

Pope Francis, 86, was released Saturday from the Roman hospital where he was hospitalized for three days for bronchitis, and returned to the Vatican to prepare for Holy Week celebrations.

“I’m still alive,” the Argentine pontiff jokingly told the faithful and journalists gathered outside Rome’s Gemelli hospital.

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 embraced a couple whose daughter died Friday night in the hospital, the Vatican said.

He also thanked medical staff and journalists waiting for him outside the medical center.

Pope Francis was seen off with applause by the people who had gathered there in the hope of seeing him.

The Vatican confirmed that he will be able to preside tomorrow, Sunday, the Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Square, which marks the beginning of the rites of Holy Week.

As in other occasions and due to the fact that he moves around in a wheelchair because of his knee pains, he will only preside the ceremony, which will be celebrated by the Argentinean 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 reporter waiting for him at the Vatican entrance.

The day before he had taken chocolate eggs, rosaries and books to hospitalized cancer-stricken children and baptized a newborn baby.

In a photo released by the Vatican, he was seen smiling and recovered, leaning on a walker, sprinkling holy water on the baby’s head.

– An infectious bronchitis –

Francis received antibiotic treatment for an infectious bronchitis, which produced “the expected effects with a remarkable improvement,” the pope’s spokesman explained.

The head of the Catholic Church suffers from chronic health problems and underwent colon surgery in July 2021.

On Wednesday, the Vatican said he was in the Roman hospital for a scheduled check-up, but had to admit hours later 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 (d. 2022), who stepped down in 2013.

But his messages on this option are ambivalent.

In July 2022 he said he might “step aside,” but in February he stated that the resignation of a pope “should not become a fashion” and that such an idea was “not on his agenda at the moment.”

The pontiff is constantly attended by a team of doctors and nurses, either at the Vatican or during his travels.


Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.For tips or news submission: mega.glcup@gmail.com