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Pope Leaves Hospital Friday

FILE: A candle with the image of Pope Francis is left in front of the windows of the Agostino Gemelli University Polyclinic in Rome, Sunday, June 11, 2023, where Pope Francis is recovering from the abdominal surgery he underwent on Wednesday.

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis, 86, will be discharged on Friday from the Rome hospital where he underwent abdominal surgery last week, the Vatican said.

"The medical team that is following Pope Francis has confirmed the Holy Father's discharge" from Rome's Gemelli hospital for Friday, it said in a statement Thursday.

Francis spent the morning Thursday thanking the doctors and nurses who have looked after him during his stay.

He did the rounds in a wheelchair, according to photographs released by the Vatican, and visited children in the pediatric oncology and child neurosurgery department.

Francis underwent a three-hour operation at the Gemelli hospital on June 7.

The pope, who had colon surgery in 2021, had been suffering from a hernia on the site of a scar from a previous surgery.

He was placed under general anaesthesia and the abdominal wall was repaired with a surgical mesh.

All papal audiences have been cancelled until June 18 to give the pontiff time to recover.