Pope Francis spent a third night in Rome’s “Agostino Gemelli” polyclinic. The Catholic Church leader, who has been treated for bronchitis, left the hospital late Saturday morning, hospital sources said. Security measures were in place for the pontiff’s return to the Vatican. Dozens of TV crews waited outside the hospital Saturday to film the pope leaving.
Pope Francis plans to preside at Mass in St. Peter’s Square today, Palm Sunday. During his hospitalization, he made a surprise visit Friday to the pediatric oncology department of Gemelli Hospital, where he is being treated. The pope brought the children chocolate Easter eggs, rosaries and books, according to the Vatican.
During the surprise visit, which lasted about 30 minutes, Francis also baptized a baby a few weeks old. In footage distributed by the Vatican, the head of the Catholic Church can be seen smiling as he baptizes the little boy with holy water.
On Palm Sunday, the start of Holy Week, Francis is already scheduled to preside at Mass in St. Peter’s Square, according to the Vatican. During the Mass, he will reportedly remain seated while Argentine Cardinal Leonardo Sandri will perform the ceremony at the altar.
- hp/k.at/picture: pixabay.com