Pope Francis on Friday spent time with children who are being treated at the same Rome Hospital where he is receiving treatment for bronchitis.
A statement released by the Holy See Press Office Director, Matteo Bruni, said the Pope visited the children who are receiving treatment in the Gemelli Hospital’s paediatric oncology ward.
“He brought them rosaries, chocolate easter eggs and copies of an Italian book for children about Jesus, born in Jerusalem of Judaea,” the statement said.
Bruni also said that during his visits, which lasted about half an hour, the Pope also baptized a little boy called Miguel Angel.
Afterwards, the Holy Father encouraged the baby’s mother to tell the parish where the Baptism will be registered to say “the Pope baptised him!”
On Friday, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni, said, “As he is scheduled to leave the hospital tomorrow, Pope Francis is expected to be present in St. Peter’s Square for the Eucharistic celebration of Palm Sunday, Passion of the Lord.”
In an earlier statement Friday morning, Mr Bruni updated the press on the Pope’s condition: “Yesterday’s day,” the statement began, “passed well, with a normal clinical course. In the evening Pope Francis had dinner, eating pizza, together with those who are assisting him during these days of his hospital stay: with the Holy Father were the doctors, nurses, assistants, and staff of the Gendarmerie.”
It added that this morning, after having breakfast, he read some newspapers and resumed work.
“His Holiness,” the statement concluded, “is expected to return to the Santa Marta home tomorrow, upon the outcome of the results of the last examinations this morning.”
In a Thursday evening statement, Bruni conveyed that doctors at the Gemelli Hospital in Rome where the Pope was admitted on Wednesday afternoon, said he has been diagnosed with viral bronchitis that requires the administration of an antibiotic therapy administered by infusion.
In that statement, Bruni conveyed information received from the medical staff treating the Pope at the hospital and said that following the results of the planned clinical check-ups, it was found that the Holy Father is affected by a viral bronchitis that requires the administration of antibiotics that “have resulted in a marked improvement in his state of health.”