Pope Francis has spoken about his health in recent weeks, specifically a knee issue that limits his mobility.
Francis, 85, has faced various unpleasant physical ailments in recent years despite spending much of his nine years as pope in excellent health.
After colon surgery in 2021, he was hospitalized for more than a week.
Here’s a chronology of Pope Francis’ health issues:
Pope Francis disclosed knee issues in January.
“Pardon me if I remain sitting, but my leg hurts today… It bothers me to stand, the pope told Jerusalem-based journalists on Jan. 17.
The next week, he stated that he couldn’t welcome pilgrims because of an “issue with my right leg,” an injured knee ligament.
Pope Francis postponed two public appearances in February owing to knee problems and doctor’s instructions.
In the next month, he needed support climbing stairs but continued to walk and stand alone.
Pope Francis utilized a lift on a trip to Malta in early April. Francis could visit and worship in the subterranean grotto of the Basilica of St. Paul in Rabat without ascending the steps.
On April 3, he told reporters, “My health is a little fickle, I have a knee condition that causes walking difficulty.”
At the Vatican’s Good Friday ceremony, the pope didn’t kneel.
He sat on a white chair in front of the congregation at the Easter Vigil Mass on April 16 and did not preside.
Francis’ schedule was authorized for medical exams and knee rest on April 22 and 26. The next day, the pope informed pilgrims his knee prohibited him from standing long.
Pope Francis began welcoming pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square from the popemobile.
His doctor told him not to walk on April 30.
The pope indicated in May that he will receive “infiltrations” on his knee, which may suggest a therapeutic injection to treat knee discomfort from ligament tears.
He used a wheelchair in public for the first time after colon surgery in July 2021. He’s used a wheelchair and avoided standing and walking throughout May.
A close Argentine archbishop says Francis spends two hours a day rehabilitating his knee.
Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernández tweeted on May 14 that Francis’ therapy “is working.”
Fernández said, “other than his knee, he’s better than ever.”
Lebanon’s tourism minister says a papal visit in June was postponed owing to the pope’s health.
When celebrating Mass on May 15, the pope stood longer. A Mexican seminarian filmed a funny interaction between pilgrims and the pope from the popemobile.
Someone congratulated Francis for attending Mass despite knee discomfort, and he replied, “Do you know what I need for my knee? Tequila.”