WASHINGTON — Following news of Pope Francis’ hospitalization on Wednesday, U.S. bishops asked for prayer for the pontiff’s quick recovery.
“On behalf of my brother bishops, I invite all the faithful to pause, if possible before the Blessed Sacrament, and pray for his speedy recovery. May our dear shepherd and all those in need of healing experience the comfort of Christ,” said Archbishop Timothy Broglio, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The Pope was taken to Rome’s Gemelli Hospital Wednesday due to a respiratory infection, the Vatican reported. He is expected to remain there for a few days.
“We have received word that Pope Francis is receiving treatment for a respiratory infection at Gemelli Hospital in Rome,” said Cardinal Blasé Cupich of Chicago Wednesday afternoon. “I am asking the people of the archdiocese to join me in praying for the swift and complete recovery of the Holy Father.”
“Over the past month, people around the world prayed millions of Hail Marys to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Holy Father’s election to the chair of Peter. We responded then to Pope Francis’ often-repeated request to pray for him. Let us continue our prayers, this time for the return of this extraordinary shepherd to good health and to his work of spreading the joy of God’s love and mercy,” Cardinal Cupich added.
Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles said Wednesday night: “Let’s pray for our Holy Father Pope Francis as he undergoes his medical treatments at Rome’s Gemelli Hospital. We entrust him to the tender care of Our Lady of Guadalupe and we ask that she keep him close in her love.”
“Pope Francis often speaks about the power of prayer, and time and time again he has entrusted himself to our prayers. Let us once again pray for him during this time of need. We pray for a quick and full recovery and walk with him to overcome this health issue. Please join me in saying Pope Francis’ own prayer to Our Lady, Health of the Sick,” Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore said.
“Pope Francis, the love of God surrounds you and dwells within you,” said Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller. “You are bearing the cross of Jesus, your life and your love. We pray for you. We love you. Adelante y Arriba!”
On Thursday morning Pope Francis tweeted his gratitude for the many prayers, saying: “I am touched by the many messages received in these hours and I express my gratitude for the closeness and prayer.”
As of Thursday morning, the pope’s agenda lists no appointments for the day on March 30. He is still scheduled to preside over a Mass in St. Peter’s Square on April 2 for Palm Sunday and to give the usual Sunday Angelus address.