Rome, Italy, Jan 9, 2021 / 11:00 am America/Denver (CNA).
Pope Francis' personal doctor, Fabrizio Soccorsi, has died from health complications related to the coronavirus, according to the Vatican.
The 78-year-old physician, who was being treated for an "oncological pathology," died at Rome's Gemelli Hospital, according to Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano.
Pope Francis named Soccorsi his personal physician in August 2015, after not renewing the term of papal doctor Patrizio Polisca, who was also head of the Vatican's healthcare services.
Since the pontificate of St. Pope John Paul II, the two positions had been tied together, but Pope Francis diverged from this custom by choosing Soccorsi, a doctor from outside the Vatican.
As Francis' personal physician, Soccorsi traveled with the pope on his international trips. During his visit to Fatima, Portugal in May 2017, Pope Francis laid two bunches of white roses before the statue of the Virgin Mary for Soccorsi's daughter, who was critically ill, and died the following month.