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Pope Francis returns to Vatican 10 days after surgery

Posted at 5:18 AM, Jul 14, 2021

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis has arrived at the Vatican after he was discharged from a Rome hospital 10 days after intestinal surgery to remove half of his colon.

Francis gave thanks for the success of the operation and offered prayers for others during a visit en route home to Rome’s Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica.

The pope always visits the basilica after returning home from a foreign trip to pray before a beloved icon of the Virgin Mary.

The Ford car carrying Francis stopped briefly at the side entrance to Vatican City.

Francis emerged from the passenger seat with the aid of a bodyguard to greet some security guards standing outside.

He then got back in the car and proceeded to enter the Vatican through the Perugino gate on Wednesday.

Francis had half of his colon removed for a severe narrowing of his large intestine on July 4, his first major surgery since he became pope in 2013.

It was a planned procedure, scheduled for early July when the pope’s audiences are suspended anyway, and Francis would normally take some time off.