Pope Francis has displayed “significant progress” in his health after being hospitalized on Wednesday for breathing difficulties, which were later diagnosed as bronchitis.

Matteo Bruni, the Holy See Press Office Director, informed the press on Thursday evening that the Pope spent time at Gemelli Hospital resting, praying, and attending to some of his duties. After administering antibiotic therapy via infusion to treat his bronchitis infection, Pope Francis’s health improved markedly. He is expected to be discharged within the next few days.

Bruni earlier reported that Pope Francis had a restful night and his condition was improving. After breakfast, the Pope resumed work, read newspapers, and spent time in prayer in his private apartment’s chapel, where he received the Eucharist.

The Pope was admitted to Gemelli Hospital on March 29 for prearranged checkups. Later in the day, it was announced that he would remain hospitalized for several days due to a respiratory infection.

In July 2021, Pope Francis underwent surgery at Gemelli Hospital for diverticulitis, an intestinal wall inflammation. In a January interview with the Associated Press, the Pope disclosed that the condition had recurred. Despite this, the 86-year-old pontiff, who visited South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo in January, maintained that he was in relatively good health.

Upon learning of Pope Francis’s hospitalization, US bishops requested prayers for the Pope’s prompt recovery. Archbishop Timothy Broglio, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, called on the faithful to pray for the Pope and all those in need of healing. Cardinal Blasรฉ Cupich of Chicago and other bishops and archbishops from various cities also urged prayers for the Pope’s swift recovery.

On Thursday morning, Pope Francis thanked everyone for their prayers through a tweet. While no appointments were listed on the Pope’s agenda for March 30, he is still scheduled to lead a Mass in St. Peter’s Square on April 2 for Palm Sunday and deliver the customary Sunday Angelus address.

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni confirmed on March 30 that Pope Francis would continue his planned treatment after being hospitalized for a respiratory infection.

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