“I’m still alive.”

This was Pope Francis’s quip upon leaving the Gemelli University Hospital on Saturday, April 1, after three days of undergoing treatment due to bronchitis.

Archbishop Charles Brown, the apostolic nuncio to the Philippines, earlier urged Catholics to pray for the Pontiff’s recovery, though he assured “there is nothing too serious” about his health.

“This is the tenth time the Pope will celebrate Easter in Rome as our Holy Father. I ask you, please, during this special time, to pray for Pope Francis, to pray for his good health and his speedy recovery,” Brown said in a video message on Thursday, March 30.

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a press statement that the Pope’s ailment was not Covid-19-related. 

“The results of these tests showed a respiratory infection (a Covid-19 infection was excluded) that will require some days of opportune medical treatment in the hospital,” Bruni said.

“Pope Francis is touched by the many messages received and expresses his gratitude for the closeness and prayers,” he added.

During his three-day hospital stay, the Pope, 86, visited a pediatric ward where he gave rosaries, chocolate eggs and copies of the book “Jesus Was Born in Bethlehem of Judah.” He also baptized a weeks-old baby named Miguel Angel.

Francis was last hospitalized in July 2021 after undergoing a three-hour surgery due to diverticulitis, which infects the colon. He has suffered acute leg and knee pain, forcing him to sit out services and ceremonies. Allyssa Mae C. Cruz


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