Pope after hospital stay: “I’m still alive” – ​​Panorama

Pope Francis had to stay in the hospital for almost three days because of bronchitis. He was released on Saturday morning. The head of the Catholic Church drove back to the Vatican from Gemelli University Hospital.

The pontiff’s motorcade had stopped briefly in front of the hospital entrance. The 86-year-old got out of his car and chatted with the journalists. “I’m still alive,” he teased. Francis signed autographs and took photos with the waiting faithful.

There was also a sad scene

The Pope blessed a woman and a man with whom he had spoken at length. When they left, he kissed them both on the cheek. According to the Vatican press office, the couple had lost a child the night before.

Serena Subania and Matteo Rugghia lost their five-year-old daughter Angelica the day before.

(Photo: Gregorio Borgia/dpa)

Francis then sat in the passenger seat of a white Fiat 500. Security forces initially had trouble clearing a path for the vehicle through the large number of people present. First, the Pope went to the Roman Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, where he prayed in front of the icon of Mary.

Holy Week begins

Francis also announced that he would attend Mass in St. Peter’s Square on Palm Sunday. Recently there had been concerns in the Vatican that the Pope could miss the Holy Week services and then those at Easter.

The head of the Catholic Church had been in the papal wing of the Roman university clinic since Wednesday afternoon. According to the Vatican, Francis was treated with antibiotics for infectious bronchitis, which led to a significant improvement. At first there was talk of a stay for planned examinations.

The state of health of the 86-year-old pope has been changing for some time. About a year ago, Francis broke his knee. That’s why he has been doing most of his appointments in a wheelchair since May.

He also announced in January that his intestinal disease, diverticulitis, had returned. In 2021, Francis underwent surgery for intestinal inflammation at the Gemelli Clinic.

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