Pope Francis prays the Angelus from his hospital balcony

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Pope Francis prayed the Angelus from the balcony of his hospital on Sunday and delivered a message urging access to good healthcare for everyone.

Newsdesk (July 11, 2021 – 8:26 PM Gaudiumpress): “In these days of being hospitalized, I have experienced how important good health care is, accessible to all, as it is in Italy and in other countries,” Pope Francis said during the Angelus today, June 11. The Pontiff exhibited some tiredness in his voice as he recovers from his recent surgery. He spoke from the balcony of his room at Gemelli Clinic, located in Rome.

“A free healthcare system that assures good service, accessible to everyone. This precious benefit must not be lost. It needs to be kept. And for this we all need to be committed, because it serves everyone and requires everyone’s contribution,” he noted.

The Pope spoke while standing beside young patients from Rome’s Gemelli University Hospital where he has been recovering for one week after an intestinal operation in which part of his colon was removed.

Pope Francis said that even when Catholic hospitals face economic difficulties, it is vital to remember that “the Church’s vocation is not to have money, but to serve, and service is always free. Don’t forget this: Save free institutions.”

And he concluded: “I would like to express my appreciation and my encouragement to the doctors and all healthcare workers and hospital staff at this hospital and other hospitals. They work so hard,” the Pope continued, “And let us pray for all the sick. Here are some friends who are sick children. Why do children suffer? Why children suffer is a question that touches the heart. Accompany them with prayer, and pray for all the sick, especially those in more difficult conditions. May no one be left alone. May everyone receive the anointing of listening, closeness and care. Let us ask this through the intercession of Mary, our Mother, Health of the Sick.”

Doctors and nurses stood together with a group of pilgrims gathered outside in the courtyard under the hospital window. People waved flags and banners, and some religious sisters sang hymns as they awaited the pope’s arrival.

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