Pope Francis has been discharged from the Gemelli hospital on Saturday after spending three nights being treated for bronchitis.
Despite his illness, the 86-year-old pontiff joked with journalists waiting outside the hospital, telling them he was “still alive”.
On Friday, the Pope visited the children’s cancer ward at the hospital, handing out chocolate Easter eggs and baptizing a newborn baby boy.
Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said that Francis had been working in his hospital suite on Friday and catching up on newspapers.
The Pope’s hospitalization was his second since 2021 when he underwent colon surgery at Gemelli.
His recent health issues have caused concern, and there has been speculation that he may choose to retire. His predecessor, Benedict XVI, resigned in 2013, marking the first papal resignation in over 600 years.
Visitors to St Peter’s Square on Friday expressed relief at the news of the Pope’s recovery. “I was afraid for the Pope,” said one Italian tourist, “but I’m happy he’s better, that he’s returning. For believers and the Catholic community, it’s important.”
The Pope’s discharge was expected, and he is now preparing for Holy Week, which begins with Palm Sunday and culminates in Easter.