Pope Francis enters the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall in a wheelchair on May 5 2022. / Daniel Ibanez/CNA.

Vatican City, May 21 2022 at 06:00 am (CNA).

Pope Francis has been speaking about his health over the last few weeks, and he has been addressing a particular issue in his knee that has forced him to stand and walk less.

The 85-year-old Francis who has lived the majority of his time as pope in fairly well-being, has had to deal with a variety of painful medical issues in the past few years.

The difficulties he has faced include an extended stay of over one week in a hospital following the colon operations in 2021.

Here’s a timeline that charts Pope Francis’ recent health issues:


December 2020

The onset of sciatica in the latter days of the year 2020 prevented Pope Francis from presidering at the Catholic liturgies of the Vatican on the night of New Year’s Eve as well as New Year’s Day.

Francis suffers from sciatica for a few years. He discussed it at a flight press conference after returning from an excursion in Brazil in July 2013.

“Sciatica is extremely painfuland very painful! I would never wish it on anybody,” he said about the condition. It begins from the back of the back and can lead to discomfort that runs across to the back of the thigh as well as leg until the foot.


Jan. 2021

Pope Francis was also forced to postpone three additional public appearances towards the end of January because of sciatic nerve discomfort.


June 2021

A colon problem led to him being admitted to Hospital on the 4th of July 2021.

In the words of the Vatican, Francis underwent surgery to ease the tightness of the colon, which is caused by diverticulitis. The three-hour operation included a left hemicolectomyand the removal of the colon on one side.

In his 11-day stay at Rome’s Gemelli Hospital, the pope achieved “normal improvement in his condition” during his recovery as per the Vatican declared.


December 2022

In meetings in January Pope Francis shared that he was experiencing problems in his knee.

“Excuse for me, if you remain in my seat, but I’m experiencing an injury in my leg this morning … This hurts me, and it hurts when I stand,” the pope told journalists from Jerusalem’s Christian Media Center on Jan. 17.

He elaborated further in an open forum the following week, explaining that the reason he was in a position to greet pilgrims like usual was due to an unavoidable “problem in my right leg” an injured knee ligament.


January 2022

In February, at the close of February Pope Francis canceled two public events because of knee pain and medical advice to take a rest.

In the following month In the months that followed, he was assisted in to climb and descend the stairs, but he was able to stand and walk without assistance.


March 2022

While on a trip to Malta during the first weekend in the month of April Pope Francis used a lift to get off from the papal plane. A special lift was built in Rabat’s Basilica of St. Paul in Rabat to ensure that Pope Francis could go to pray in the crypt grotto , without having to climb the steps.

On his return flight the 3rd of April, He explained to reporters on the return flight that “my health is unstable, I have this knee issue that causes out problems walking.”

In the Vatican’s Good Friday celebration The pope didn’t kneel on the altar like he did in the past.

He did not also preside at the Easter Vigil Mass on April 16 or take part in the Paschal candle procession, but instead sat in his place in the white chair.

The 22nd of April and 26 Francis’ schedule has been cleared to undergo medical examinations and rest on his knee The Vatican declared. On the following day, Pope Francis told the audience of the general assembly that his knee was preventing him from being able to stand for long periods of time.

Pope Francis also started to sit in the popemobile, while greeting the pilgrims who gathered at St. Peter’s Square.

In April, he announced the doctor who examined him had told him to not walk.


June 2022

The pope declared in May, at the start of May that he’d undergo an operation in his knee “an procedure that involves infiltrations” through which might have meant an injection for therapeutic purposes, which is often employed to ease knee pain that is caused from ligament ruptures.

The next day after that, he was able to use his wheelchair at first since the July 2021 colon operation. Through May, he’s used the wheelchair, and has avoided walking and standing.

Pope Francis’ general audience in St. Peter’s Square, May 18 2022. Daniel Ibanez/CNA.

Francis is also in the process of undergoing more than two hours of rehab for his knee each day according the report of an Argentine archbishop in close proximity to Pope Francis.

The treatment “is yielding positive results” Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez posted in Twitter the 14th of May after an intimate meeting with Pope Francis.

Apart from his knee “he’s stronger than ever” Fernandez added.

A few days earlier days ago, the minister for tourism in Lebanon stated that a planned papal visit to Lebanon scheduled for June was delayed due to the health of the pope.

The pope did remain for longer times during the May 15 Mass on St. Peter’s Square. Afterward the Mass, a seminarian from Mexico was able to witness an era of joy between the pilgrims and the pope who greeted the crowd on the pope’s motorhome.

A person thanked the pope for attending the Mass despite knee pain. Francis replied: “Do you know what I’ll need to help my knee? A little bit of Tequila.”

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