The Pope has “recovered well” and the planned treatment will continue, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said on Thursday evening.
The 86-year-old read some newspapers on Thursday, then worked and rested. In the private apartment within the clinic, he also prayed in a chapel and received the Eucharist. He could be released from Rome’s Gemelli Clinic in the next few days.
The Pope was admitted to the hospital in Rome on Wednesday afternoon. First, the Vatican said it was a “planned investigation.” In the evening there was talk of a respiratory infection “which will require appropriate medical treatment in the hospital for a few days”.
The Pope’s illness will have an impact on the upcoming Easter celebrations. The Holy Father will not celebrate Mass on Palm Sunday; Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Deputy Dean of the College of Cardinals, will do that. “I can confirm that I will celebrate Mass on Palm Sunday. Of course, I hope that the Pope will recover and be able to preside over the liturgies as on other occasions, even if a cardinal is at the altar,” said the Argentine, according to media sources.
Sandri assured that “all the people of God will be united in prayer with Pope Francis especially for his speedy recovery”. Meanwhile, it has been announced that the Easter Mass will be celebrated by Cardinal Dean Giovanni Battista Re, the Chrism Mass on Maundy Thursday morning by Cardinal Vicar Angelo De Donatis and the afternoon Mass “in Coena Domini” with the rite of washing the feet by Cardinal Mauro Gambetti, Archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica becomes. Easter is considered the highest Christian holiday. Christians remember the suffering, crucifixion and resurrection of the believer Jesus Christ, whom they see as the Son of God.