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The Vatican has confirmed the Pope will be discharged on Saturday after his hospital admission for bronchitis, according to the director of the Vatican press office, Matteo Bruni.

"The medical team that follows His Holiness Pope Francis, after evaluating the results of the examinations carried out today and the favorable clinical evolution, has confirmed the discharge of the Holy Father from the A. Gemelli Hospital for tomorrow (this Saturday)," Bruni said Friday in relation to the last medical report.

Addressing the health personnel present, the Pope dedicated "a thought to all those who contribute to alleviating the physical ills and anxieties of those who, on a daily basis, are called to bear witness to the Cross of Christ" and thanked "their self-denial and spirit of service".

The Pope has baptized this Friday a baby named Michelangelo of a few weeks of life, admitted to the Pediatric Oncology ward of the same hospital.

Francis visited the children of the plant of this plant, to whom he brought rosaries, chocolate eggs and copies of the book 'Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea'. After the visit, the Pontiff returned to his room on the tenth floor of the Policlinico Gemelli hospital, where he was also in June 2021 when he was operated on for severe diverticular stenosis with signs of sclerosing diverticulitis.

The pope will preside over the liturgical appointments of Holy Week, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, dean of the College of Cardinals, told Italian media.

"According to the information I have, he will leave tomorrow (this Saturday) from Gemelli, so he will be able to preside over all the rites of Holy Week," Re told Corriere della Sera newspaper.

In practice, the expression "preside" the rites indicates the presence of the Pope at the Masses planned for Holy Week, although other cardinals will celebrate them, as happened at the funeral of Benedict XVI.

In any case, it will be a different Holy Week in the Vatican. It is expected that in principle it will be the Argentine Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, vice-dean of the College of Cardinals, who will celebrate the Palm Sunday Mass.

Meanwhile, the Holy Thursday Mass will be celebrated by the Pope's vicar archbishop for the city of Rome, Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, together with all the priests of the diocese of Rome, while at the Mass at the Lord's Supper, in the afternoon of the same day, with the washing of the feet, will be celebrated by the archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica, Franciscan Cardinal Mauro Gambetti, as reported by 'Il Corriere Della Sera'.

It will depend on the Pope's full recovery whether he reads his Easter message 'Urbi et Orbi', one of the most important messages of the year.

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