Nine days after his operation, the Pope left Gemelli Hospital. He first went to St. Mary Major to pray before the image of the Virgin “Salus populus romani,” which, according to tradition, was painted by the evangelist St. Luke.
A press release from the Holy See announced this Wednesday, July 14, the Pope's return to the St. Martha’s House, his place of residence.
“Responding to journalists' questions, the director of the Holy See's Press Office, Matteo Bruni, confirmed that this morning, shortly after 10:30 am, the Holy Father left the A. Gemelli university hospital,” the statement said.
“Before returning to the St. Martha’s House in the Vatican, the Pope went to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, it is further specified, where, in front of the icon of the Virgin “Salus Populi Romani,” he gave thanks for the success of his operation, addressing a prayer for all the sick, in particular those he met during the days of his stay.”
The same press release specifies that the Pope was back in St. Martha’s House “shortly before 12 noon,”
As can be seen in a photo taken by a Vaticanist, the Pope was using a wheelchair.
Additionally, while Pope Francis can stand, he does not appear to be able to walk at the moment. Which launched speculations about the true state of his health.
But it appears difficult to pass medical judgment on these elements, because it is well known that the Pope suffers from sciatica: the operation with its consequences could not improve this pathology, and difficulty in walking at this stage does not appear to be abnormal.