Pope Francis visits Rome's Gemelli hospital for tests, returns to Vatican

Pope Francis gave a general audience at the Vatican on Wednesday.

February 28, 2024, 5:59 AM

ROME and LONDON -- Pope Francis on Wednesday visited Rome's Gemelli hospital following his general audience at the Vatican, the Vatican said.

"After the general audience Pope Francis went to the Gemelli Isola Tiberina Hospital for some diagnostic tests," a Vatican official said. "Afterwards, he returned to the Vatican."

During his weekly appearance earlier in the day, Francis said he "still had a bit of a cold." He asked one of his bishops to do a reading.

Francis, 87, had been admitted to the hospital several times last year. He had bronchitis in March and had intestinal surgery in early June, the Vatican said at the time.

Francis is scheduled on Saturday, March 2, to meet with German?Chancellor Olaf Scholz, followed on Sunday by an appearance at a noontime prayer, according to the Vatican.

The pope's official X account posted a message on Wednesday after his visit to the hospital.

"In this time of #Lent, let us strive not to put ourselves at the centre; rather, let us try to step aside to make room for others, to promote them, and to rejoice in their qualities and successes," the account said.

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