The children returned the pope’s greeting with their own handwritten card, according to Vatican News.
The front of the paper had a colored pencil drawing of Pope Francis and inside the message said: “Dear Pope Francis, we know that you are not very well and that you are now in the same hospital as us. Even if we cannot see each other, we send you a strong hug and we wish you to get well soon.”
A girl named Giulia, who is hospitalized at the Vatican-owned Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital, also sent Pope Francis a greeting. On a picture of her holding his hand while he is in a hospital bed, she wrote: “Dear Pope Francis, feel my prayer like I felt yours when I was sick.”
The Vatican confirmed earlier this week that the 84-year-old pope had suffered a “severe” narrowing of the colon.
Bruni said that examinations showed that Pope Francis had experienced “severe diverticular stenosis [narrowing] with signs of sclerosing [hardening] diverticulitis.”
Pope Francis was hospitalized on July 4 to undergo an operation to relieve stricture of the colon caused by diverticulitis, a common condition that involves the formation of small bulges or sacs on the wall of the colon.
A 10-person medical team was involved in Francis’ surgery, which was carried out under general anesthesia, lasted about three hours and included a left hemicolectomy, the removal of one side of the colon.
The Vatican spokesman said July 5 that the pope was expected to spend seven days recovering in the hospital, “barring complications.”
This is Francis’ first major operation during his pontificate. In 2019, he had an outpatient surgery for cataracts and he occasionally suffers from flare-ups of sciatic pain.
Hannah Brockhaus is Catholic News Agency's senior Rome correspondent. She grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, and has a degree in English from Truman State University in Missouri.