Pope Francis to lead Sunday Angelus from hospital after intestinal surgery

Pope Francis gives an Angelus address from the Apostolic Palace. Credit: Vatican Media/CNA.

Vatican City, Jul 9, 2021 / 04:30 am (CNA).

Pope Francis will lead the Angelus from his hospital room on Sunday as he recovers from intestinal surgery, the Vatican said.

The pope is at Rome’s Gemelli University Hospital this week after undergoing a July 4 operation to remove part of his colon.

His hospital room is on the 10th floor of the sprawling polyclinic in a wing reserved for papal medical emergencies. The pope’s medical suite can be identified from the street by its five large windows covered by white blinds.

It is the same room where John Paul II stayed during many of his hospital treatments, including for a colon surgery in 1992 and his hospitalization after being shot in an assassination attempt in 1981.

John Paul II famously delivered his Sunday Angelus address from the hospital window.

Rome’s Gemelli Hospital, pictured on July 5, 2021, as Pope Francis convalesces after a surgery. / Courtney Mares/CNA.
Rome’s Gemelli Hospital, pictured on July 5, 2021, as Pope Francis convalesces after a surgery. / Courtney Mares/CNA.

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said July 9 Pope Francis was progressing normally in his recovery and has resumed his work from the hospital, alternating it with reading.

The pope was also able to celebrate Mass in the chapel of his private hospital room in the afternoon on July 8, in the presence of those assisting him during his hospitalization.

“The Holy Father gives thanks for the many messages of affection and closeness that he receives daily and asks that we continue to pray for him,” Bruni said.

The Vatican said that Pope Francis underwent a CT scan of his chest and abdomen the morning of July 8, after temporarily running a fever the night before.

Bruni said that no problems were uncovered by the scans. He also said the pope was able to move and eat unassisted, and was no longer in need of intravenous treatment.

The July 9 Vatican statement said that the pope does not have a fever.

During his hospitalization, Pope Francis sent an affectionate message to the young patients in the nearby pediatric oncology and children’s neurosurgery wards, according to the Vatican.

The children returned the pope’s greeting with their own handwritten card, according to Vatican News.

The front of the paper had a colored pencil drawing of Pope Francis and inside the message said: “Dear Pope Francis, we know that you are not very well and that you are now in the same hospital as us. Even if we cannot see each other, we send you a strong hug and we wish you to get well soon.”

A girl named Giulia, who is hospitalized at the Vatican-owned Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital, also sent Pope Francis a greeting. On a picture of her holding his hand while he is in a hospital bed, she wrote: “Dear Pope Francis, feel my prayer like I felt yours when I was sick.”

The Vatican confirmed earlier this week that the 84-year-old pope had suffered a “severe” narrowing of the colon.

Bruni said that examinations showed that Pope Francis had experienced “severe diverticular stenosis [narrowing] with signs of sclerosing [hardening] diverticulitis.”

Pope Francis was hospitalized on July 4 to undergo an operation to relieve stricture of the colon caused by diverticulitis, a common condition that involves the formation of small bulges or sacs on the wall of the colon.

A 10-person medical team was involved in Francis’ surgery, which was carried out under general anesthesia, lasted about three hours and included a left hemicolectomy, the removal of one side of the colon.

The Vatican spokesman said July 5 that the pope was expected to spend seven days recovering in the hospital, “barring complications.”

This is Francis’ first major operation during his pontificate. In 2019, he had an outpatient surgery for cataracts and he occasionally suffers from flare-ups of sciatic pain.

Pope Francis to lead Sunday Angelus from hospital after intestinal surgery

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