Pope Francis is expected to return home on Saturday after what will have been three nights in the hospital and attend Palm Sunday services, the Vatican said.
In the first images of the 86-year-old pontiff from the time of his hospitalization On Wednesday, Francesco was filmed baptizing a newborn, before visiting the patients of the Gemelli Polyclinic in Rome, where he was hospitalized for bronchitis.
The Argentine pontiff, who had part of a lung removed as a young man, has suffered from growing health problems in recent years. This was his second hospital stay since 2021.
He ate breakfast on Friday morning, read some newspapers and worked in the private papal suite on the 10th floor of the hospital, the Vatican said.
“His Holiness’s return to Santa Marta (his Vatican home) is expected tomorrow, following the results of the latest tests this morning,” Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said on Friday.
He said Pope Francis was expected to preside over Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Square, which marks the start of Holy Week and Easter, Christianity’s most important holiday.
Now Francis will remain seated while someone else – probably a senior cardinal – performs the ceremony at the altar. The Mass will be followed by the Pope’s customary Sunday Angelus prayer.