Friday, March 31, 2023

Prayers and best wishes pour in for Pope Francis


Pope Francis at 29 March General AudiencePope Francis at 29 March General Audience  (Vatican Media)

Best wishes and prayers pour in for Pope Francis

As Pope Francis is expected to be discharged from the hospital on Saturday, prayers and best wishes continue to pour in from around the world.

By Deborah Castellano Lubov

As Pope Francis prepares to be discharged tomorrow from Rome's Gemelli hospital, where he has been being treated for a respiratory infection, prayers and best wishes for the Holy Father have been pouring in from around the world.

The Holy Father, as expressed in statements issued by Director of the Holy See Press Office, and the Pontiff's own Twitter account, has expressed how touched he has been by the outpouring of prayers for him.

The President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, issued a statement saying that as Pope Francis recovers, "we pray intensely for our Holy Father.”

“On behalf of my brother bishops, I invite all the faithful to pause, if possible before the Blessed Sacrament, and pray for his speedy recovery.”

"May our dear shepherd and all those in need of healing," he said, "experience the comfort of Christ."

For the first Pope from the Americas, the bishops of the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM), urged all their brothers in the episcopate, and all the holy and faithful people of God who are pilgrims in Latin America and the Caribbean, "to intensify their prayers for the intentions of Pope Francis and for his health during this time of Lent in which we prepare for the celebration of Holy Week."

They invited all faithful to pray for the full recovery of the health of Pope Francis "under the intercession of "our Mother, under the invocation of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of this continent."

World leaders have also expressed their closeness to the Pope, including the President of Italy, Sergio Mattarella, who offered his "most intense and affectionate wishes to Pope Francis, with the wish for a full recovery in health."

India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, said on Twitter, he is "praying for the good health and speedy recovery of Pope Francis."

The President of the United States, Joe Biden, also said he would be saying an "extra prayer" for Pope Francis, having described the Pope as one of the most "Christ-like figures I've ever met." In a tweet, the US President said, "[First Lady] Jill [Biden] and I are keeping Pope Francis in our prayers and send our best wishes for his swift and full recovery. The world needs Pope Francis."

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