Pope Francis was set to leave hospital on Saturday after a three-night stay for treatment of bronchitis, and begin preparations for the most important week in the Christian calendar, APA reports citing France24.
The 86-year-old pontiff was admitted on Wednesday to Rome's Gemelli hospital after complaining of breathing issues, but his condition improved after he was given antibiotics. On Friday, the pope visited the children's cancer ward at the hospital, handing out chocolate Easter eggs and even baptising a weeks-old baby boy, according to a video published by the Vatican.
Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said Francis had been working earlier on Friday in the hospital's private papal suite on the 10th floor and catching up on newspapers. On Thursday night, he ate pizza with some hospital staff.
The Argentine pope was expected to be discharged on Saturday, Bruni said, and would preside over Palm Sunday mass in St Peter's Square. The ceremony marks the beginning of Holy Week, which culminates in Easter.
Francis' hospitalisation was his second since 2021, when he underwent colon surgery, also at Gemelli. His increasing health issues over the past year have sparked widespread concern, including speculation that he might choose to retire rather than stay in the job for life.