Rome – Pope Francis walks, works and celebrated Mass at a hospital in Rome where he will also deliver his weekly Sunday blessing while recovering from bowel surgery, the Vatican announced on July 9.
The Vatican Daily Medical Update said Francis’s temperature was back to normal after the slight fever he suffered on the evening of July 7. She said her treatment and recovery at Gemelli Polyclinic was going as planned.
Francis, 84, had half of his colon removed on July 4 for what the Vatican called a “severe” narrowing of his large intestine. He should stay at Gemelli, who has a special Popes-only suite, all week, assuming there are no complications.
The statement said Francis will deliver his blessing on Sunday at noon on July 11 from the 10th floor of the hospital, an appointment that will recall the practice of Saint John Paul II, who also pronounced the prayer and salvation of the Angelus from his suite during his occasional hospital stay.
During a stay in 1996, John Paul joked that after so many visits, Gemelli had become “Vatican No. 3,” after St. Peter and the papal summer estate at Castel Gandolfo.
Francis, for his part, continued to eat regularly and to walk down the hall, the Vatican said. He said he had resumed work, “alternating it with moments of reading texts.”
He celebrated mass in the Pope’s private apartment on the afternoon of July 8, “in the presence of all who assisted him during his hospitalization,” the Vatican said.
The Argentine Pope enjoyed relatively robust health, although he lost the upper part of a lung in his youth due to infection. He also suffers from sciatica, or nerve pain, which causes him to walk with a severe limp.