At the end of this audience with pilgrims from Slovakia on Saturday, Pope Francis apologized to a group of believers that he had to receive them while sitting because of a foot problem. “Now I give you a blessing and we pray together that the Lord will bless you. And then I greet them, but there is a problem: this foot is not good, it does not work, and the doctor asked me not to walk,” he said, adding that he keep walking, but this time he has to obey the doctor.
The 85-year-old pope suffers from a problem with his right foot that prevents him from walking and standing for long periods of time.
On 25 February, the Holy See confirmed that the Pope was suffering from acute gonalgia, a rheumatic pain in the knee for which more rest was recommended because he had to suspend a trip to Florence and that the Pope could not conduct the ceremonies on Easter Ash Wednesday. week.
On his apostolic journey to Malta in early April, Pope Francis was unable to descend the stairs of the plane for the first time and resorted to the elevator.
In Saturday’s audience, Pope Francis thanked the Slovak pilgrims for receiving Ukrainian war refugees and urged them to “continue to pray and work for peace” every day.
“Recently, once again, this time in the tragic context of the war, many of your families, parishes and institutions have welcomed Ukrainian mothers with children who had to resign to a safe place to take care of their families,” the pope told Slovakia in a speech for pilgrims.
Pope Francis added that “they are witnesses to how war brings violence into family relationships, deprives children of their parents’ presence, of school, and leaves their grandparents abandoned.”
“I urge you to continue to pray and work for the peace that is built in our daily lives, including these gestures of desirable love. And I know that he shows solidarity not only with his neighbors and sisters but also with those who are far away, as in Cuba,” he stressed.