Pope Francis leads the Sunday's Angelus prayer from the Gemelli Hospital, in Rome, on July 11, 2021, where he is recovering from colon surgery Photograph:( AFP )
He is recovering from colon surgery
Pope Francis greeted supporters and led prayers on Sunday from 10th floor balcony of his hospital. He is recovering from colon surgery.
"I am glad to be able to keep the Sunday Angelus appointment, even here" at the hospital, he said.
"I have deeply felt your closeness and the support of your prayers. Thank you from the bottom of my heart," he told 200 people gathered below.
The Vatican said on Friday (July 9) that the Pope is not well enough to return to the Vatican in time for his Sunday blessings.
This was the first time since his election in 2013 that Pope Francis didn't read prayers from the Vatican except for when he was away on trips.
The Catholic-run hospital and medical university traditionally treats popes, and part of its 10th floor is permanently reserved for them. It includes its own intensive care unit.
Pope John Paul II, who reigned from 1978 to 2005, was in the same hospital about 10 times and read the Sunday prayer from there, either from the window or with only audio when he was too ill to get out of bed.
Francis underwent a three-hour operation on Sunday (July 4) night. It was the first time he had been hospitalized since his election as pope in 2013.
He timed the surgery for the start of July, a month in which his only public commitments are his Sunday blessings.
(With inputs from agencies)