UPDATE: Pope had ‘peaceful night’ and in ‘general good condition’ after surgery

Pictured is a large card Pope Francis received after being operated on June 7, 2023, at Rome's Gemelli hospital. The card is from the family of Miguel Ángel, an infant the pope had baptized in Gemelli's oncology ward March 31. (CNS photo/Holy See Press Office)

By OSV News

ROME (CNS) — Among the many messages Pope Francis has been getting over the course of his first full day recovering from abdominal surgery at Rome’s Gemelli hospital, his favorite, so far, was a large card from a Peruvian family he met during his last hospital stay.

Covered in hearts, smiley faces and color photographs, the card said, “Get well soon!” and “We love you very much.”

One photograph explained why the card would be so special for the pope: it showed the pope with Miguel Ángel, the infant he baptized in the oncology ward March 31, together with the child’s mother. The other photos showed Miguel’s two big brothers, who wrote, “Thank you for blessing our baby brother Michelangelo.”

“We wish you from the bottom of our hearts that you get better, we would love to meet you in person and spend an afternoon together so that you can better get to know our family, your family, since now you are part of our lives,” the card also said.

Pope Francis “was touched by the affection of the family of little Miguel Ángel” who sent him a big card “wishing him a speedy recovery,” said Matteo Bruni, director of the Vatican press office, in a written statement the evening of June 8.

“The Holy Father wanted to personally thank the mother with a brief phone call,” he added.


Bruni said the pope spent his first full day at the hospital resting per doctors’ orders.

He was on a liquid diet, his vital signs were stable and post-operative tests results were normal, Bruni said. June 8 was also the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, and the pope did receive the Eucharist.

Pope Francis had spent a restful, peaceful first night at Rome’s Gemelli hospital after a successful three-hour operation June 7 for a hernia.

He was informed of the many messages of “closeness and affection” from well-wishers and he “expresses his gratitude, while asking for continued prayers,” Bruni said in a written statement the morning of June 8.

The medical staff in charge of monitoring the 86-year-old pope’s post-operative recovery said that “Pope Francis had a peaceful night, managing to rest extensively,” Bruni said.

The pope “is in good general condition, alert and breathing on his own. Routine follow-up examinations are good,” Bruni added.

The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services, asked that Catholics “keep Pope Francis and all those in the hospital in your prayers.”

“As Pope Francis recovers from surgery, he is strengthened by faith in the healing power of our merciful God,” he said in a written statement released June 7. “Jesus always walks with us and is even closer whenever we need healing and comfort.”

Pope Francis underwent a three-hour abdominal surgery “without complications” June 7 to treat a hernia, according to the Vatican press office.

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