After undergoing surgery to repair a hernia on Friday, Pope Francis returned home to the Vatican, where his health will be subject to increased scrutiny as we get closer to the busiest time of the year for the Catholic Church.
At 8:45 am (06:45 GMT), Francis smiled as he exited the Gemelli hospital in Rome as he was seated in a wheelchair. He thanked the multitude of people who had come to wish him well.
Since his election in 2013, the 86-year-old man has had a number of health difficulties, including hip trouble, knee discomfort, weight increase, as well as an irritated colon and lung infection.
On June 7, the Argentinian patient had a severe hernia removed during a three-hour procedure that was performed under general anesthesia. The hernia was located at the location of a scar from a prior surgery.
Since 2021, it was his third time being in the hospital.
When he woke up after his surgery a week ago, the doctors reported that he was in a good mood and joking about with the medical staff. Since then, the hospital has provided daily reports that outline his progress in recovering from the procedure.
In order to provide the Pope sufficient time to recuperate, the Papal Audiences have been canceled until June 18 by the Vatican.
But Francis was fast to start working again from his suite at Rome’s Gemelli hospital, which is the preferred option of pontiffs to the extent that it was called “Vatican III” by John Paul II. Francis was able to go back to work very quickly after returning from his trip.
He had made a joke about “Vatican number one” being St. Peter’s Square, “Vatican number two” being the papal vacation palace of Castel Gandolfo, and “Vatican number three” being the Gemelli.
On Thursday, the physicians informed Francis that he would be able to return home on Friday morning. The Pope used his final day in the hospital to say thank you to the medical staff who had been taking care of him while he was confined to a wheelchair.
According to the Vatican, Francis also visited youngsters in the paediatric oncology and child neurosurgery departments, where some of the patients had written him messages and drawn him pictures wishing him a swift recovery.
– Vacations – When Francis gets back home, everyone will be watching him closely to see how well he can adjust to his regular routine.
His schedule is going to be very hectic over the next several months, as he will be traveling to Portugal and Mongolia in August.
The schedule for his trip to Portugal for World Youth Day in Lisbon, which will take place from August 2nd to the 6th, is jam-packed with around 20 meetings and a number of events.
Because of his ongoing health issues, the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, who as a young man required a portion of one lung to be removed, is frequently need to cut back on his schedule.
It was determined that he had a kind of diverticulitis, which is an inflammation of tiny bulges or pockets that can develop in the lining of the gut, and he was scheduled for surgery at the Gemelli in July 2021.
In addition, Francis spent three nights in the hospital in March due to a respiratory illness that he had.
The past several months have seen an increase in the number of rumors that have been spreading concerning his likely resignation.
He has stated on many occasions that, should his health deteriorate, he would contemplate resigning from his position, taking a cue from his immediate predecessor, Benedict XVI.
In July of 2022, Francis admitted to himself that he needed to moderate his pace.
“At my age and with this limitation, I have to save a little bit of myself in order to be able to serve the Church,” he stated. “Or, as a second option, to consider the possibility of withdrawing from the situation.”
Nonetheless, he reaffirmed in March that he did not have any immediate plans to resign from his position.