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Pope Francis leaves hospital; ‘Still alive,’ he quips

Pope Francis addresses the media as he leaves the Gemelli hospital on April 1, 2023 in Rome.
Filippo Monteforte | Afp | Getty Images

Pope Francis was discharged on Saturday from the Rome hospital where he was treated for bronchitis, quipping to journalists before being driven away: “I’m still alive.”

Francis, 86, was hospitalized on Wednesday at Gemelli Polyclinic after reportedly having breathing difficulties following his weekly public audience. The pontiff was treated with antibiotics administered intravenously, the Vatican said.

The Vatican said that before departing, Francis hugged a couple whose daughter died Friday night at the hospital.

Francis sat in the front seat of the white Fiat 500 car that drove him away from Gemelli Polyclinic.

On the eve of his discharge, Vatican officials said that Francis would be St. Peter’s Square for Palm Sunday Mass to mark the start of Holy Week, which culminates on Easter, April 9.

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