Update on Pope's health

Pope Francis at Gemelli, "he spent the night well"

The Pontiff has a respiratory tract infection. The medical staff is optimistic

Pope Francis spent a quiet night, "as smooth as oil", according to what ANSA learns from sources close to him, on the tenth floor of the Gemelli Polyclinic, where the Pontiff has been hospitalized since yesterday in the special apartment of the Popes for a "respiratory infection" .

"The nurses are very optimistic, they believe that for next Palm Sunday celebrations, he will be there.

Barring unforeseen events of course", they report again. Sources from the Holy See also confirm that the Pope" spent the night well". An update on his condition should be released in the late morning.

In fact, from the very first moments, Massimiliano Strapppetti, 54, was with the Pontiff, a nurse so close and listened to by Bergoglio that it was he who convinced him to undergo colon surgery three years ago. Today, however, a day of complete hospitalization is completely taken for granted.

The Pontiff will continue his treatment for a respiratory infection and the tests will continue which for now, according to what is learned, exclude heart problems and pneumonia.

At the Gemelli crew and onlookers, "let us pray for him"

Since yesterday evening, numerous television crews and information providers have taken possession of the outdoor stations, in an area near the entrance to the Gemelli hospital, to account for Pope Francis' hospitalization. Almost a deja vu compared to what happened in July two years ago when dozens of communication operators crowded the area at the time of the colon operation. Several onlookers also flocked to Francesco this morning and to peek at the windows with the white shutters lowered, also visible outside the large hospital structure. Some patients on leaving the hospital comment on the Pope's presence and above all assure their personal prayers for the Pope's speedy recovery. The safety system inside the hospital, entrusted to the Vatican Gendarmerie, has been strengthened compared to yesterday. There are also men from the Italian police under the direction of the new Vatican Inspectorate manager, Quaestor Messineo.

The shelter

For everyone, the sudden hospitalization of Pope Francis at the Gemelli Polyclinic, where he arrived yesterday in an ambulance for "a respiratory infection", was a classic bolt from the blue. "In recent days, Pope Francis has complained of some breathing difficulties and this afternoon he went to the A. Gemelli Polyclinic to carry out some medical checks", announced the director of the Vatican press office, Matteo Bruni in the evening. "The outcome of the same highlighted a respiratory infection (excluding the Covid 19 infection) which will require a few days of appropriate hospital medical therapy". "Pope Francis is touched by the many messages received and expresses his gratitude for the closeness and prayers", he added.

The Pontiff had been seen very serene at the general audience in the morning - apart from the well-known walking difficulties due to knee pain -, making the tour with the 'popemobile' together with the now customary five children on board, animatedly giving his catechesis , at the end joking and smiling in the 'hand kiss' and in the group photo with the bishops. Only he appeared tired when he was lifted from the wheelchair to get on the popemobile that took him to Santa Marta, where he allegedly suffered the illness that led to his hospitalization. Then only a few hours later, completely unexpectedly, the announcement to journalists at 16.09 again by spokesman Matteo Bruni: "The Holy Father has been at the Gemelli since this afternoon for some previously scheduled checks".

The Pope at Gemelli for 'scheduled checks'

The news immediately went around the world, with the memory also of that July 4, 2021 when always at Gemelli Francesco had undergone colon surgery due to diverticular stenosis. The tom-tam of hypotheses also started immediately, with only one evidence in the first hours: those "previously scheduled checks" soon appeared as an attempt not to spread excessive alarmism. In fact, there was very little planned in the transport of the Pope to the Gemelli, if it is true that a planned interview with the presenter Lorena Bianchetti for "In the image of him" had to be canceled at the last moment.