VATICAN CITY — “I’m still alive!”, he smiles outside the Gemelli in Rome, as after his hospitalization at the end of March. But now he looks tired, he smiles a little tight to doctors, nurses and patients who they applaud him as he exits in a wheelchair, and he lingers only a few moments with the journalistsi: they ask him about the shipwreck in the Aegean, the massacre of children, and he sighs “so much pain”, the serious look, before getting into the car.
It is natural that he is tired, for an 86-year-old man a certain asthenia is normal after undergoing three hours of operation under general anesthesia, the matter is delicate. Even if the surgeon who operated on him, Sergio Alfieri, reassured yesterday: Â«We asked him to do some convalescence and I am sure that this time he will listen to us a little more because important appointments await him.. As for the next trips, he will be able to face them better than before because he no longer has the discomforts he had: he will be a stronger Pope than before”.
The doctors have urged Francis to avoid efforts: a “prosthetic mesh” has been implanted on the wall of his abdomen, and he must heal. Â «Three monthsÂ», it was said: Â Â«If he tears, he has to be taken back to the operating roomÂ». Bergoglio is planning two trips in August, from 2 to 6 to Lisbon, and to Mongolia at the end of the month, and he intends to make them. The surgeon looks confident: â€œPortugal is in August, about two months after the intervention. If you convalesce carefully, you will be able to do so in better conditions than before.’ As for general health, “he has a perfect heart, the head of a fifty-year-old, blood tests that many would envy”.
Doctors have recommended avoiding efforts, “balancing commitments between those that cannot be postponed and the most onerous”. Francis is expected to pronounce the Angelus on Sundayon Wednesday instead the general audience in the square was canceled “to safeguard post-operative recovery”.
Meanwhile, it is a good sign that the hearings are confirmed: on Tuesday the Cuban president Miguel Diaz-Canel, on Wednesday the Brazilian Lula, two possible interlocutors of his “peace mission” for Ukraine. Soon Cardinal Matteo Zuppi will present his report on the trip to Kiev to the Pope, the one is being worked on in Moscow. For rest, Francesco is not willing to avoid the essentials. Yesterday he did not return immediately to the Vatican. He stopped at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore to pray in front of the Salvation of the Roman Peoplethe icon of Mary dear to the Jesuits.
Then he went to see the Sisters of Maria Santissima Bambina, next to the Colonnade: «I’m fine, thank God. The doctors were goodTO”. A nun told him that they had prayed for him and the Pope, amid general laughter, replied: “For or against?”.