In his first public appearance since his release after ten days in hospital, Pope Francis invited the faithful on Sunday (18) to recognize the importance of rest and prayed for Cuba, South Africa and the affected European countries. by unprecedented rains last week.
“Let us stop the frantic race dictated by our schedules. Let us learn to take a break, to turn off the cell phone, to contemplate nature, to regenerate ourselves in dialogue with God”, declared the pontiff in the traditional prayer of the Angelus, s ‘voicing from the window of the Apostolic Palace to the faithful in St. Peter’s Square.
Citing biblical examples, Francisco warned of the risk of “falling into the trap” of excessive activity, “where the results we get and the feeling of absolute protagonism are most important.” For this, he urged the faithful to seek not only physical rest, but also for the crowning. “Because it is not enough to ‘switch off’, we have to rest for real,” he said.
The Catholic leader also urged people not to be compassionate and in that sense he followed the tradition of commenting on some of the events that made the headlines around the world throughout the week.
The pontiff expressed his solidarity with the populations of Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, countries affected last week by unprecedented rains which caused catastrophic floods and left more than 180 dead and hundreds missing.
Francisco also spoke of episodes of violence in South Africa, where more than a week ago acts of looting and vandalism following protests against the arrest of former President Jacob Zuma left major cities of the country in a scenario of chaos.
“I make a sincere appeal to all the leaders involved to work for the consolidation of peace and to work with the authorities to come to the aid of those in need,” said the Pope. “May the desire that guided the South African people, the rebirth of harmony among all their children, not be forgotten.”
Finally, the pontiff said he was “close to the dear Cuban people in these difficult times”. The island’s population took to the streets last Sunday (11), in the biggest protests against the regime in decades, with demands ranging from Covid-19 vaccines to freedom of expression.
“I pray that the Lord will help the nation [cubana] to build an ever more just and fraternal society through peace, dialogue and solidarity ”, declared Francisco, advising the Cuban population to trust Our Lady of Charity of Cobre, patron saint of the country.
The Pope did not mention his state of health or make any reference to the period during which he was hospitalized. During his speech this Sunday, he appeared to be in good health, although his voice was relatively weaker compared to previous statements.
Francisco, 84, was released from Gemelli hospital in Rome on Wednesday (14). He had been hospitalized since day four, when he underwent surgery to treat diverticular stenosis, a condition in which “pockets” form in the muscle layer of the colon, making it narrower. In addition to causing pain, the disease can lead to bloating, inflammation, and difficulty evacuating. It is a more common diagnosis in the elderly.
The procedure – a left hemicolectomy, a procedure in which part of the colon is removed – lasted three hours and was conducted by ten professionals from Gemelli Hospital.