Pope Francis returns to Vatican after discharge from hospital

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Pope Francis was released from Gemelli Hospital on Friday morning following his abdominal surgery on 7 June, and has returned to the Vatican.

In a brief statement Thursday, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni, informed the press that Pope Francis would be released from the hospital this morning.

As he left the hospital, Pope Francis greeted those present, pausing for a moment for some salutations.

The Pope’s surgeon, Dr. Sergio Alfieri, said the Pope is well, even better than before.

The Pope, responding to some journalists’ questions about how he is, said “I am still alive,” and expressed his sorrow for the tragic deaths of migrants in Greece.

Following the Pope’s departure from the hospital, he maintained his tradition of making a detour to Rome’s Marian Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore to pause in prayer before the icon of the Blessed Mother, Salus Populi Romani.

The Holy Father had likewise stopped in the Basilica when returning to the Vatican, following his hospitalisation for bronchitis on 1 April 2023, and after his colon surgery on 14 July 2021.

Prior to returning to the Vatican through the Perugino Gate, the Holy Father made a private visit to the religious sisters of the Maria Santissima Bambina Institute, near the Vatican, who are in Rome for their General Chapter.

Outside the Perugino Gate, the Pope greeted the law enforcement officers and thanked them for their service.

Returning to normalcy

Bruni has sent regular statements confirming the Pope’s progress, consistently stating the the medical team reports that the clinical picture is progressively improving and “the post-operative course and recovery is regular.”

There were no complications with the Pope’s surgery.

Pope Francis should eventually be able to resume travel and his normal activities, but should not lift heavy objects, according to his doctors.

Upcoming appointments

Due to the surgery and subsequent recovery, the Pope’s audiences were suspended until Sunday, 18 June.

The Vatican has confirmed the Pope’s Sunday Angelus, and other audiences.

However, the June 21 General Audience “has been cancelled to safeguard the Holy Father’s post-operative recovery.”

Pope Francis has Apostolic Journeys to Portugal, from 2 to 6 August, for the occasion of World Youth Day, and Mongolia, from 31 August to 4 September, on his agenda.

Tenderness at Gemelli

Thursday morning, Pope Francis made a return visit to the hospital’s children’s cancer ward, which he had visited during his last stay in the hospital before Holy Week for bronchitis.

Source: vaticannews.va