Vatican gives Pope Francis health update as engagements cancelled

He has been suffering from ‘persistent but mild flu symptoms’

Via AP news wire
Monday 26 February 2024 13:55 GMT
Pope Francis greets the public after abdominal surgery in hospital

Pope Francis has canceled his engagements on Monday morning, the Vatican press office said in a short statement, adding that the pontiff did not have a fever.

The statement indicated the decision was made as a precautionary measure.

Pope Francis was well enough on Sunday to celebrate his weekly Angelus prayer from the Vatican window overlooking St. Peter’s Square, a day after canceling a public audience because of a mild flu-like condition.

He has been suffering from ‘persistent but mild flu symptoms’.

The Vatican calendar has no public audiences scheduled for the Pope on Monday morning, but he may have had other private engagements.

A brief announcement on Saturday from the Vatican press office said the 87-years-old pontiff was forced to scrap a planned audience with the Roman deacons as a precautionary measure due to a “mild, flu-like condition.”

On Sunday, Francis, who over the past few months had to cancel some of his activities and one international trip due to fragile health, concluded his Angelus prayer with his usual salutes to the waving crowd.

Pope Francis appears at the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter’s Square at The Vatican
Pope Francis appears at the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter’s Square at The Vatican (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

In his address, Francis remembered “with sorrow” the second anniversary of the start of what he called “a large-scale war in Ukraine.”

“So many victims, wounded, destruction, distress, tears in a period that is becoming terribly long and whose end is not yet in sight,” the pope said.

“It is a war that is not only devastating that region of Europe, but also unleashing a global wave of fear and hatred,” he added. “I plead for that little bit of humanity to be found to create the conditions for a diplomatic solution in the search for a just and lasting peace.”

The pontiff also prayed for those involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and “for so many war-torn people, and to concretely help those who suffer. ... Let us think of so much suffering, let us think of the wounded, innocent children.”

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