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Pope Francis has been discharged from the hospital after a three-day stint under observation for a respiratory infection.
The pontiff, 86, was discharged on Saturday morning from Gemelli Hospital in Rome, Italy in good health.
Asked by reporters how he was feeling, Pope Francis quipped, “Still alive!”
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Pope Francis waves from his car as he arrives at The Vatican, Saturday, April 1, 2023, after receiving treatment at the Agostino Gemelli University Hospital for bronchitis, The Vatican said. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
The sovereign was hospitalized on Wednesday due to difficulty breathing. He was later diagnosed with bronchitis and showed rapid improvement after receiving antibiotic infusion treatment.
Pope Francis met with patients and their loved ones before departing Gemelli Hospital, stopping to pray with the mother of a five-year-old who had died during the night previous.
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He took time to sign a young boy’s arm cast before departing, and also visited with and thanked the staff of the hospital for the healthcare he received.
The pope’s first stop upon departure was the Basilica of St. Mary Major, where he prayed for the souls of those he met during his time at Gemelli Hospital.
He is expected to participate in the Psalm Sunday mass on April 2.
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Pope Francis hugs Serena Subania as her husband Matteo Rugghia (L) reacts, a couple who lost their five-year-old child a day earlier, as the Pope leaves the Gemelli hospital on April 1, 2023 in Rome, after being discharged following treatment for bronchitis. (FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images)
Pope Francis continued to work in a limited capacity during his three-day hospitalization — bringing chocolates, rosaries, and children’s books about Jesus to the facility’s pediatric oncology ward.
On Friday, he also baptized a child named Miguel Angel who was only a few weeks old.
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During his recovery, Pope Francis also sent a papal telegram to the Diocese of Nashville to express condolences for the victims and those affected by the Covenant School shooting.
“Deeply saddened to learn of the recent shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville, his Holiness Pope Francis asks you to convey his heartfelt condolences and the assurance of his prayers to all affected by this senseless act of violence,” the telegram read.
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Pope Francis addresses the media as he leaves the Gemelli hospital on April 1, 2023, in Rome, after being discharged following treatment for bronchitis. (FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images)
The message continued, “He joins the entire community in mourning the children and adults who died and commends them to the loving embrace of the Lord Jesus.”
The papal telegram was relayed to Bishop Mark Spalding by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.
The message concluded, “He likewise invokes the consolation and strength of the Holy Spirit upon the grieving families and prays that they will be confirmed in their faith in the power of the risen Lord to heal every hurt and to bring good out of unspeakable evil.”
Timothy Nerozzi is a writer for Fox News Digital. You can follow him on Twitter @timothynerozzi and can email him at [email protected]