The first cardinal known to have tested positive for coronavirus has released a message from hospital, thanking his flock for their prayers and saying he is recovering from the disease.
Writing from the Gemelli Hospital in Rome, where he was hospitalised on March 30, Cardinal Angelo De Donatis said: “Thank God I’m healing and I should be discharged soon.”
The cardinal, who is vicar general of Rome diocese, wrote in an April 8 message that he felt “supported and consoled by the prayers of all of you who have been close to me” during his ordeal.
He said: “All my gratitude goes to the doctors, the nurses and all the medical staff of the Agostino Gemelli Polyclinic who are caring for me and many other patients, with great competence and demonstrating a deep humanity, animated by the sentiments of the Good Samaritan.”
He also thanked the pope for his prayers and support. While Pope Francis is the Bishop of Rome, the day-to-day leadership of the diocese is provided for by De Donatis, who enjoys broad vicarious authority delegated by the pope.
Referring to Matthew 26:17, where the disciples ask Jesus where they should make preparations for him to eat the Passover meal, the cardinal said: “Meditating on this question, in light of the experience of the disease, I seem to have clearly perceived how none of us can really prepare for Easter without recognizing that, in the first place, it is Jesus who is eagerly yearning to ‘do Easter’ with us.”
“We only have to welcome the grace and enter with our life into the Paschal Mystery of Christ, ‘who died for our sins and rose again for our justification’. Let us allow the Lord, through His merciful love, to heal our infirmity and to console the sorrows we carry in our hearts.”