“I’m still alive,” Pope Francis jokes as he leaves the hospital in Rome. On Wednesday, the 86-year-old pope was hospitalized due to pneumonia.
During his hospitalization, the pope was administered antibiotics, which quickly made him feel better again.
The 86-year-old pope is said to have already eaten pizza with medical staff in the evening on Thursday evening. On Friday morning, he resumed work from the hospital.
His hospitalization happened at the busiest time in his annual schedule, due to the events and services scheduled during Easter week. The Vatican announces that the pope is expected to be present in St. Peter’s square for Palm Sunday Mass this weekend.
There was a concerned response to the hospitalization of the pope, who is struggling with a number of ailments. He has an upset stomach, for which he underwent surgery in 2021. And because of a knee problem, he uses a wheelchair or a cane. Francis acknowledged last summer that he needed to slow down.
The health problems lead to questions about how long the pope plans to stay on. He has said he may resign if his health fails him, but before his hospitalization he said he would not stop for the time being.
Francis ‘ predecessor Benedict XVI resigned in 2013 for health reasons. That was very unusual because a pope typically remains in office for his entire life.