The Pope recited the Angelus prayer in private on Sunday in the chapel of his hospital apartment in Rome. Pope Francis had been advised by doctors not to appear on the hospital balcony for the traditional midday blessing in order to better heal.

In a statement, the Holy See press office said he then had lunch with members of staff who have been assisting him during his stay at the Gemelli hospital. They are said to have included doctors, nurses, staff and Gendarmerie Corps personnel.

The statement also updated the Pope’s medical condition :

‘The medical staff has informed us that the post-operative recovery of Pope Francis is normal.

“The Holy Father continues to be stable (no fever, stable heart rate and pressure); he underwent respiratory physiotherapy and continued to move about.

“In the course of the morning he attended Holy Mass live on television and received the Eucharist.’

The Pontiff was admitted to hospital last week and underwent a three hour operation on Wednesday to repair an abdominal hernia.

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