In May 2020, Pope Francis published a prayer to Our Lady for the sick. Perhaps today we can pray it in a particular way for him. (Information and updates below the prayer.)

O Mary,
You shine continuously on our journey
as a sign of salvation and hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who, at the foot of the cross,
were united with Jesus’ suffering,
and persevered in your faith.

“Protectress of the Roman people”,
you know our needs,
and we know that you will provide,
so that, as at Cana in Galilee,
joy and celebration may return
after this time of trial.

Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform ourselves to the will of the Father
and to do what Jesus tells us.
For he took upon himself our suffering,
and burdened himself with our sorrows
to bring us, through the cross,
to the joy of the Resurrection.

We fly to your protection,
O Holy Mother of God;
Do not despise our petitions
in our necessities,
but deliver us always
from every danger,
O Glorious and Blessed Virgin.

Update, March 30, 5:30 pm Eastern Time:

Justin McLellan of Catholic News Service and Gerald O’Connell of America have an evening update:

More than 24 hours after he entered the hospital, Pope Francis’ doctors reported a “marked improvement” in his condition, which they attributed to treatment with intravenous antibiotics.

According to an update on the state of his health from medical staff at the Gemelli Hospital, Francis has an “infectious based bronchitis that required the administration of an infusion [intravenous] based antibiotic therapy.” The report said the medical team discovered this when they conducted “planned clinical tests” on the 86-year-old pontiff, who was hospitalized yesterday.

Update, March 30, noon Eastern Time:

Gerard O’Connell of America relayed an update from the Vatican Press Office earlier today:

Pope Francis “rested well during the night,” his “clinical picture is improving progressively” and he is “continuing with the scheduled treatment,” the director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni, said in a statement sent to journalists at 12:35 p.m. (Rome time) today.

Mr. Bruni reported that after having breakfast this morning, Pope Francis “read some newspapers” and then “went back to work.” Then, “before lunch he went to the chapel of the private apartment” on the 10th floor of the Gemelli Hospital where he “was absorbed in prayer and received holy Communion.”

The Vatican said another bulletin on the pope’s health will be issued this evening.

Original post, March 29, 2023:

According to reports from the Vatican, Pope Francis was taken by ambulance to the hospital earlier today after experiencing chest pains.

Gerry O’Connell, reporting for America Magazine, wrote:

The Vatican press office had said earlier on Wednesday that Francis was taken to the hospital for previously scheduled tests.

One source told America that Francis experienced the pains when he returned to Santa Marta, the Vatican residence where he resides, after conducting the usual Wednesday public audience where he seemed to be in good form. He canceled an interview with an Italian journalist that had been planned for after the audience.

When he experienced the pains, Massimiliano Strappetti, his personal health care assistant who always accompanies him, decided to call the ambulance, which took him to the Gemelli Hospital in Rome where he was taken immediately to the coronary unit for check-ups. He is still in hospital, and all audiences in the Vatican have been canceled until Saturday, a senior Vatican source told America.

The Vatican Press office has just confirmed this, and journalist Bree Dail tweeted a translation of the statement:

In recent days Pope Francis complained of some respiratory difficulties and this afternoon he went to Policlinico A. Gemelli for some medical checks. The outcome of these showed a respiratory infection (excluding Covid 19 infection) that will require several days of appropriate hospital medical treatment. Pope Francis is touched by the many messages received and expresses his gratitude for the closeness and prayer.

-Holy See Press Office (English translation: Bree A Dail)

The AP’s Nicole Winfield has published a story with all the information and updates we know at this time.


Image: Adobe stock. By Parilov.

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Mike Lewis is the founding managing editor of Where Peter Is. He and Jeannie Gaffigan co-host Field Hospital, a U.S. Catholic podcast.

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