Pope Francis Leaves Hospital After Treatment for Bronchitis
After spending three nights at Rome’s Gemelli hospital, Pope Francis was discharged on Saturday. The 86-year-old pontiff was admitted on Wednesday due to breathing difficulties caused by bronchitis. He left the hospital smiling, stopping to greet well-wishers who had gathered outside. When asked how he was feeling, he responded with humor, saying “I am still alive!”
Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni reported that the pope spent Friday in the hospital’s private papal suite on the 10th floor, catching up on newspapers and working. On Thursday night, he even enjoyed a pizza with some hospital staff. The pope confirmed that he would preside over Palm Sunday mass in St. Peter’s Square, the start of a busy week of events leading up to Easter.
Francis’ hospitalization was his second since 2021 when he underwent colon surgery at the same hospital. Over the past year, concerns over his health have grown, with some speculating that he may choose to retire. However, the pope has repeatedly stated that he has no plans to do so now.
Despite his health issues, Francis has remained active, pushing through major governance reforms and seeking to forge a more open, compassionate Church. He has faced opposition, particularly from conservatives, but remains committed to his vision.
As he begins his preparations for Holy Week and Easter, the pope’s return to health has been met with relief from visitors to St. Peter’s Square. For the faithful and the Catholic community, his return is an important symbol of continuity and hope.
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