At the end of the General Audience on Wednesday morning Pope Francis was admitted to Rome’s A. Gemelli University Hospital where he will undergo surgery in the early afternoon.
A statement released by the Holy See Press Office said the Holy Father “will undergo a laparotomy and abdominal wall surgery under general anaesthesia.”
“The surgery, decided upon over the past few days by the medical team assisting the Holy Father, became necessary due to an incisional laparocele (hernia) that is causing recurrent, painful and worsening sub-occlusive syndromes,” the statement said.
The Press Office added that the Pope will remain in the hospital for several days “to allow for a normal post-operative course and full functional recovery.”
The Pope’s admission to the hospital follows a visit and consultation with doctors at the same facility on Tuesday afternoon.
On Wednesday morning the Pope held his regular General Audience in St. Peter’s Square after having venerated the relics of St Therese of the Child Jesus, a saint to whom he is particularly devoted.
In his tweet, on what would have been her 150th birthday, he appealed for prayers “for the grace to love Jesus as she loved Him, the grace to offer Him our trials and our sorrows, as she did, so that He might be known and loved by all.”
This is the third time Pope Francis has been admitted to the Gemelli Hospital. As we remember, the Pope spent four days in the facility in March when he was treated for bronchitis that had caused him respiratory problems. He was out on 1 April, after a rapid and positive recovery.
On 4 July 2021, the Pope underwent abdominal surgery for a symptomatic diverticular stenosis of the colon. The operation was performed under general anaesthesia (which, the Pope revealed, had caused him some discomfort) in an overall good health picture for the then 84-year-old Pontiff.