Pope Francis returns to Vatican after operation

Written by on July 14, 2021

Pope Francis on Wednesday left the Rome hospital where the head of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics had undergone an operation on his colon on July 4.

The 84-year old was whisked away from the Gemelli University Hospital in a car with tinted windows and was later spotted returning to his home within the Vatican’s walls.

He stopped off on the way at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore for a quick prayer to “express his gratitude for the success of his surgery”, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a statement.

The pope also prayed at the central Rome church for “all the sick, especially all those he had met during his stay in the hospital,” Bruni said.

Francis had been admitted to the hospital after suffering from a type of diverticulitis, an inflammation of pockets that develop in the lining of the intestine.

The Vatican initially said he would be in hospital for about a week, and the pope led the Angelus prayer from his hospital window on Sunday.

On Monday, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said he would stay for a “few more days”.

It was not immediately clear whether Francis’s schedule would immediately return to normal.

The pope managed to do some work from the hospital and retained all his powers as pontiff while away.

A special chamberlain, known as “the cardinal camerlengo”, stood ready to take over in the event of death, as he does at all times, according to the Catholic News Service.

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