Pope Francis leads the Angelus prayer from Rome’s Gemelli hospital on 11 July 2021, where he is recovering from colon surgery.
(FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images)
Reciting the traditional noonday prayer of Marian devotion from the window of his hospital suite in Rome’s Agostino Gemelli hospital, Pope Francis renewed his call for “free” universalhealthcare
Pope Francis prayed the Angelus on Sunday from the window of his hospital suite in Rome’s Gemelli hospital, where he continues his recovery from surgery to remove part of his colon exactly a week ago.
In remarks to the faithful ahead of the traditional noonday prayer of Marian devotion, Pope Francis said he has felt the “closeness and the support” of the faithful who have been praying for him. “Thank you,” he said, “from the bottom of my heart!”
Pope Francis also noted that his week of hospitalisation has given him to experience “once again how important good health care is, accessible to all, as it is in Italy and in other countries.”
“Free health care,” the pope continued, “that assures good service, accessible to everyone,” is a “precious benefit” that “must not be lost.”
“For this,” Pope Francis went on to say, “everyone needs to be committed, because it helps everyone and requires everyone’s contribution.”
The pope noted that it happens in the Church sometimes, “that some healthcare institution, due to poor management, does not do well economically, and the first thought that comes to mind is to sell it.”
There has been international scandal over one such facility, Rome’s IDI hospital, which the Vatican attempted to save by securing — through measures that have come in for considerable critical scrutiny — financial support from the US-based Papal Foundation.
“The vocation, in the Church, is not to have money,” Pope Francis said. “It is to offer service, and service is always freely given. Do not forget this: to save free institutions.”
Pope Francis also expressed his appreciation for the doctors and all the healthcare workers and staff of the Gemelli and other hospitals, as well as his encouragement.
“Let us pray for all the sick,” he also said, noting “some friends,” in hospital with him, “sick children,” he noted. “Why do children suffer?” he asked, adding that it is a question which “touches the heart.”
“Accompany them with prayer and pray for all those who are sick,” Pope Francis said, “especially for those in the most difficult conditions: may no one be left alone, may everyone receive the anointing of listening, closeness, tenderness and care.”
He asked the faithful to make the request “through the intercession of Mary, our Mother, Health of the Sick.”