Pope Francis greets the public from the balcony of the hospital: “I am happy to be able to hold the appointment of the Angelus on Sunday”
Pope Francis looked fine and in good shape as he greeted hundreds of Romans and pilgrims in the plaza below him, and a worldwide audience watching the video stream, from the balcony of his suite in the 10th floor of Gemelli hospital on Sunday July 11. exactly one week after his three-hour bowel operation.
TV cameras and photographers from around the world had gathered at a site under the hospital window to capture the moving moment as Pope Francis appeared in public for the first time since his operation last Sunday night.
The 84-year-old pope looked happy as he greeted the crowd of young and old, as well as priests, nuns and hospital staff who had gathered in the plaza outside the hospital, and patients and staff have gathered on neighboring balconies. They had prayed and sang hymns under the blazing sun, waiting for him to appear.
Pope Francis: “I thank you all: I have deeply felt your closeness and the support of your prayers. Thank you from the heart!”
They applauded loudly and enthusiastically as he stepped out onto the balcony at noon, accompanied by a few young children who are hospital patients and a few hospital staff. They wave to him and applaud. He nodded back. The Vatican broadcast the event via video streaming; It was also broadcast live by many TV stations around the world.
” Dear brothers and sisters, buongiorno [“good day”]! “Pope Francis said in a loud voice.” I am happy to be able to hold the Angelus appointment on Sunday, even here from the Gemelli polyclinic. “
“Thank you all: I have deeply felt your closeness and the support of your prayers. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! ”He said, responding to their presence and also alluding to the outpouring of messages for a speedy recovery he had received from all over the world, and for the prayers lifted up in the homes, parishes and dioceses around the world for his well-being.
“Sooner or later we all need this ‘anointing’ and we can all give it to someone else, with a visit, a phone call, an outstretched hand to someone who needs help. “
He recalled that the Gospel read at Mass today told how Jesus’ disciples sent “to anoint many sick people with oil and to heal them” (Mk 6:13). Francis said that “this ‘oil’ is certainly the sacrament of the anointing of the sick, which comforts the mind and the body. This raised the question of whether he had received this anointing before his operation.
François explained that “this ‘oil’ is also the listening, the proximity, the care, the tenderness of those who take care of the patient: it’s like a caress that makes you feel good, soothes your pain and cheers you up.
He told his worldwide audience, “Sooner or later we all need this ‘anointing’, and we can all give it to someone else, with a visit, a phone call, an outstretched hand to someone. ‘one who needs help. ”Adding to his prepared text, he reminded everyone that at the Last Judgment we will be judged by“ the protocol ”of chapter 25 of the Gospel according to St. Matthew, and one things that will be asked of us concern “closeness to those who are sick.
The Pope stressed the importance of having a health system accessible to all: “This precious advantage must not be lost. We must keep it!
Then, in a significant statement, the Pope underlined the importance of having a health system accessible to all, which he has constantly called for, and on which he insisted with more and more force as the pandemic of Covid-19 was sweeping the world.
“In these days of hospitalization, I have seen how important good health care is, [that is] accessible to everyone, as in Italy and other countries. A free health system, which provides good service, accessible to all. This valuable advantage should not be lost. We must keep it! And for that, everyone must get involved, because it helps everyone and requires everyone’s contribution, ”he said.
Again, adding to his prepared text (which was given to reporters in advance), Francis said, “Sometimes in the church it happens that a health facility [hospital], due to mismanagement, is not doing well economically and therefore the first thought that comes to mind is to sell it. But, he said, “the vocation in the church is not to have money, it is to be of service, and the service is always free.” Then, he added, drawing loud applause from the crowd. “Remember this: save the free institutions!
Then, François expressed his thanks to all those who treated him during these eight days at the Gemelli hospital. He looked fine and only coughed lightly twice as he spoke.
He said, “I want to express my gratitude and encouragement to the doctors and all healthcare workers and hospital staff. They work a lot!
Turning to those who are sick, he said, “And let us pray for all the sick.
Drawing attention to the children next to him on the balcony, he said, “Here are child friends” and asked, “Why do children suffer? Why children suffer is a question that touches the heart. Let us accompany them with prayer and also pray for all those who are sick, especially for those who are in the most difficult conditions. May no one be left alone, may each receive the anointing of listening, closeness and concern. Let us ask for it through the intercession of Mary, our Mother, Health of the Sick. ”
After reciting the Angelus prayer with those in attendance and giving his blessing to the global audience, Francis looked at the dramatic situation in Haiti following the assassination of the country’s president last week.
“In recent days, my prayers have often turned to Haiti, after the murder of the president and the injury of his wife. I join the pressing call of the bishops of this country to lay down their arms, to choose life, to choose to live together as brothers and sisters for the good of all and in the interest of Haiti ”, he said. -he declares. “I am close to the dear people of Haiti; I hope that this spiral of violence can end and that the nation can resume the path towards a future of peace and harmony.
“I am close to the dear people of Haiti; I hope that this spiral of violence can end and that the nation can resume the path towards a future of peace and harmony.
He also recalled that the church today celebrates “The Day of the Sea”, which “is dedicated in a special way to sailors and all those who have the sea as a source of work and support”. Francis said, “I pray for them and urge everyone to take care of the oceans and seas. Caring for the health of the seas: no plastic in the sea!
He addressed a greeting and his blessing to those who are on pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Poland, with Radio Maria.
Pope Francis recalled that today is the feast of Saint Benedict, abbot and patron of Europe, and he addressed his greetings to “all the Benedictine monks and sisters around the world”, as well as to the Europe itself, “so that it is united in its founding values.
As usual, François concluded by wishing everyone a good Sunday and a good lunch. He asked everyone to “remember to pray for me” and said goodbye until next Sunday.
Given his looks today and how strong he is, many here in Rome expect him to return to the Vatican in the next few days, but the Vatican has yet to confirm this. He will likely be back in Santa Marta before they announce his return home.