Pope Francis health improving – Vatican

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Pope Francis

Pope Francis has acknowledged the many well-wishes the 86-year-old has received while he’s being treated in a Rome hospital for a respiratory infection.

In his first tweet acknowledging his illness, Francis said: “I am touched by the many messages received in these hours and I express my gratitude for the closeness and prayer.”

The pontiff’s health is “progressively improving” and he is working from the hospital, the Vatican said on Thursday. “His Holiness Pope Francis rested well during the night. The clinical picture is progressively improving and the planned treatments continue. This morning after breakfast, he read some newspapers and went back to work,” Vatican spokesperson Matteo Bruni said on a statement.

“Before lunch he went to the little chapel of the private apartment, where he gathered in prayer and received the Eucharist.”

After his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday, the pontiff was taken to the hospital to undergo a number of tests. Earlier in the day, the Vatican had said that the visit and tests were planned.

“The Holy Father has been at Gemelli since this afternoon for some previously scheduled tests,” Bruni had said.

Shortly after, he said that Francis’ schedule for Thursday had been cleared “to make space for the continuation of tests should that be necessary.”

Vatican sources told CNN Thursday that Pope Francis “slept well” during his first night in the hospital.

The Church of Rome also expressed “all its closeness and affection to its Bishop Pope Francis, and ensures its unceasing prayers, wishing him a speedy recovery,” it said in a statement on Thursday.

Francis was admitted to Gemelli hospital in Rome, pictured on March 30, 2023, on Wednesday, where he is undergoing treatment of a respiratory infection.
Francis was admitted to Gemelli hospital in Rome, pictured on March 30, 2023, on Wednesday, where he is undergoing treatment of a respiratory infection.
Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images
Bishops in churches across Italy are praying for Francis’ speedy recovery, the Presidency of the Italian Episcopal Conference, on behalf of the Italian bishops, said in a statement on Wednesday.

“In wishing the Holy Father a speedy recovery, the Presidency entrusts to the Lord the doctors and medical staff who, with professionalism and dedication, care for him and all patients,” it added.

The pontiff – who as a young man suffered from severe pneumonia and had part of a lung removed – has had a recent history of medical issues.

He has often been seen with a walking stick and sometimes uses a wheelchair due to pain in his right knee. Last year, he canceled a trip to Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan after doctors said he might also have to miss a later trip to Canada unless he agreed to have 20 more days of therapy and rest for his knee. He ultimately went to the DRC and South Sudan in February.

Francis also suffers from diverticulitis, a common condition that can cause the inflammation or infection of the colon. In 2021, he had surgery to remove part of his colon.


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