Pope Francis has left hospital in Rome following surgery

Pope Francis leaves hospital

By Region Central Italy News

Pope Francis left hospital on Wednesday, 10 days after undergoing planned surgery to remove half his colon.

Witnesses said the 84-year-old Pope left a hospital in Rome on Wednesday morning. Francis had half of his colon removed for a severe narrowing of his large intestine on July 4. It was his first major surgery since he became pope in 2013.

The Director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni, confirmed the pope was discharged from Agostino Gemelli Hospital shortly after 10.30 this morning. 

In responding to questions from journalists, he noted “Before returning to the Vatican, the Pope went to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major where, before the icon of the Virgin Mary Salus Populi Romani, he expressed his gratitude for the success of his surgery and offered a prayer for all the sick, especially those he had met during his stay in hospital. Shortly before midday he returned to Casa Santa Marta.”

Planned procedure during summer break

The procedure was planned to coincide with the pope’s annual summer break. This meant the pope did not need to cancel any audiences or appointments.

The Vatican originally stated Francis could be discharged last weekend. However, it later said he would stay a few days extra for recovery and rehabilitation therapy.

Pope Francis will have several more weeks to recover before beginning to travel again in September. Then he has plans to visit Hungary and Slovakia. Another planned trip is to Glasgow, Scotland, in November to participate in the COP26 climate conference

Still giving pastoral care and leading prayers

The pope appeared for the first time in public since the surgery on Sunday. He delivered his weekly prayer from the balcony of the hospital’s tenth floor. Surrounding him were young cancer patients to whom he has paid visits whilst in hospital.

During prayers, he called for free health care for all.

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