© Reuters. Pope Francis leads the Angelus prayer from his window in the Vatican after an intestinal operation on July 18, 2021 in the Vatican. REUTERS / Remo Casilli
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis made his first public appearance since returning to the Vatican after an 11-day hospital stay mid-week, urging well-wishers to take a break and unwind from the stresses of modern life.
“Let’s put an end to the hectic running around that is dictated by our plans. Let’s learn how to take a break, turn off the cell phone,” Pope Francis said in his weekly address from a window overlooking St. Peter’s Square.
The 84-year-old Pope had part of his colon removed during an operation on July 4th – the first time Francis had faced significant health problems during his eight-year papacy.
On Wednesday he returned to the Vatican, where he needed help from assistants to get out of his car. On Sunday he was handsome and spoke in a relatively clear voice, though not as loudly as before he was hospitalized. He did not mention his hospital stay.
Hundreds of people were gathered in the sunny square and cheered when he appeared at the open window.
As is so often the case, at the end of his address the Pope mentioned some of the events that were making headlines around the world.
He called for an end to the recent public unrest in South Africa and called for peace and dialogue in Cuba after unprecedented protests rocked the communist-ruled country.
“Even in these difficult times, I am close to the dear people of Cuba, especially the particularly suffering families,” said Francis to the jubilation.
He also referred to catastrophic floods in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands in recent days, in which more than 180 people were killed.
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