More than a week after undergoing surgery, Pope Francis has returned to the Vatican.
The pope was released from a hospital in Rome on Wednesday, ten days after undergoing surgery to have half of his colon removed.
A Vatican official said, Francis stopped by the Santa Maria Maggiore church and “expressed his thankfulness for the success of his surgery and offered a prayer for all the sick, especially those he had met during his stay in hospital”.
Francis was in “excellent, overall condition, awake, and breathing spontaneously” after undergoing surgery for a blockage in his large intestine, according to the Vatican.
Despite the Vatican’s claim that the procedure had been planned in advance, The New York Times reports that it “alarmed many because of the importance of the surgery and the Vatican’s history of concealment when it comes to pontiffs’ health.”
Francis, on the other hand, made his first public appearance since the surgery on Sunday, leading prayer from the hospital balcony.
“During these days in the hospital, I’ve realised how important good health care is — accessible to all, as it is in Italy and other countries. This priceless benefit must not be forfeited. It must be preserved.” he said.