Pope released from hospital after being treated for respiratory infection

Pope Francis was released from the hospital on Saturday, after being treated for bronchitis, the Vatican said.

The pope, who is 86 years old, was hospitalized for a pulmonary infection earlier this week, after experiencing “respiratory difficulties.”

Pope Francis greeted the leadership of Gemelli Hospital in Rome, as well as the medical team that treated him, before leaving the hospital on Saturday, according to Vatican News, the Holy See’s official news service.

He then headed to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, “where he prayed before the icon of Mary, Salus Populi Romani, for all the sick and those suffering due to the illness or loss of loved ones.”

The Vatican noted that Pope Francis prayed “in a special way” for the children he met with on Friday in the hospital’s pediatric oncology and neurosurgery wards. 

He is expected to be present for Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Square this weekend, Vatican spokesperson Matteo Bruni said on Friday.

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