International News

Children in Roman Hospitals Send Greetings to Pope Francis as He Recovers

A patient in the pediatric oncology ward of Rome’s Gemelli hospital made a card for Pope Francis, who is recovering there from colon surgery. The child wrote, “Dear Pope Francis, we heard you are not so well and that you are in our hospital now. Even if we cannot see each other, we send you a big hug and hope you will heal quickly.” (Photo: CNS/Courtesy Policlinico Gemelli)

By Inés San Martín

ROME (Crux) — Children who are in two of Rome’s largest hospitals — including the one where Pope Francis is recovering from Sunday’s surgery — have sent the pontiff “get well” cards.

“The young patients with their families and the entire community of the Bambino Gesu, his hospital, pray so that Pope Francis can recover soon and continue to help the children,” the Vatican-owned pediatric hospital tweeted Monday, with a drawing inviting him for a visit once he’s out of the Policlinico Gemelli, where he had intestinal surgery on Sunday.

Several such messages were shared, both by the children’s hospital and by the Gemelli, including a drawing from a girl called Giulia that shows Pope Francis in bed and the girl by his side, and the message “dear Pope Francis, feel my prayer. I felt yours when I was ill.”

Several children who are in the oncology ward of the Gemelli also drew pictures for the pontiff, several of which were shared by the hospital on Thursday. On Thursday, the Vatican’s press office said Pope Francis had prayed the day before in particular for the children who are fighting cancer in the same hospital where he’s staying.

“We have heard that you are not so well and that you are now in the same hospital as us,” says a letter sent to the pope and shared by the Vatican. “Even though we cannot see each other, we send you a strong embrace and wish you a speedy recovery.”

On Friday, the Vatican’s press office confirmed that on Sunday, Pope Francis will lead the traditional Angelus prayer from the hospital, much like St. John Paul II did when he was there in 1981, 1996, and 2005. The latest update on his health says the pope continues to improve, and that on Thursday he was able to “eat regularly” and celebrate Mass, attended by those who have assisted him during his hospitalization.

“The Holy Father gives thanks for the many messages of affection and closeness that he receives daily and asks that we continue to pray for him,” says the statement released by Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni.