The health of Pope Francis, pictured in St. Peter's Square on March 29, 2023, is "improving" after he was hospitalized earlier this week, the Vatican said. PHOTO/COURTESY: CNN
International News

Pope Francis Health: Pontiff Ready for Lisbon Trip

Shortly after his discharge from the hospital following a hernia operation, Pope Francis expressed his readiness for World Youth Day in Lisbon, scheduled for August. However, the pontiff is still experiencing some breathing difficulties.

“Some think that because of illness I can’t go, but the doctor told me I can, so I will be with you,” the pope said in a video message to participants of the Catholic Church event.

“There’s 40 days left, like Lent, before the meeting in Lisbon. I am ready! I already have everything, I can’t wait to go,” he sad in his native Spanish, holding up a World Youth Day branded backpack.

After serving as the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church for decade, Pope Francis recently underwent a three-hour operation, performed under general anesthesia on June 7. The surgery aimed to alleviate the discomfort caused by a hernia located at the site of a previous surgical scar.

Following a nine-night stay at Rome’s Gemelli hospital, which marked his third hospitalization since 2021, the Pope was discharged. However, during an audince with church aid organizations on Thursday, he chose not to deliver his prepared speech, citing ongoing difficulties with his breathing.

The Vatican’s official media outlet, Vatican News, reported that Pope Francis attributed his respiratory challenges to the lingering effects of the anesthesia. Over the years, the Pope has encountered various health concerns, including hip problems, knee pain, weight gain, an inflamed colon, and a respiratory infection.

Pope Francis remains committed to extensive travel and has a busy itinerary planned for his visit to Portugal from August 2 to August 6, where he will participate in World Youth Day.