Pope Francis called Bishop Marco Salvi, the auxiliary bishop of Perugia, on the evening of Nov. 10, to ask how Bassetti was faring, according to a diocesan newspaper. La Voce reported that Pope Francis encouraged Bassetti and Salvi, who is also positive for the coronavirus but asymptomatic, to "be strong, be strong, be strong."
The auxiliary bishop told Vatican News that the pope also assured him of his prayers and asked him to share his message with Bassetti.
According to an update from the hospital Nov. 9, Cardinal Bassetti's "overall clinical picture" was worsening. He is receiving medical therapies, oxygen therapy, and non-invasive ventilatory support.
"The diocesan community is enduring the grave health conditions of its Pastor with apprehension and is constantly gathered in prayer, as parish, religious and contemplative communities and as lay groups and movements," a Nov. 9 statement from the archdiocese said.
Bishop Salvi said "at this moment we are even closer spiritually to our Pastor," noting that he is surrounded by the prayers of people throughout Italy, "where his smile and his messages have entered deep into the hearts of many."
Salvi noted that Bassetti had asked particularly for prayers through the intercession of Bl. Carlo Acutis, Venerable Vittorio Trancanelli, a doctor from Perugia, and Servant of God Giampiero Morettini, a seminarian who died at the age of 37 in Perugia.