AGI – Canicular heat, masks worn under the chin despite the gathering of a few hundred people in the square, plus others looking out from via della Pineta Sacchetti. A voice that at times betrays tiredness. Pope Francis looks out, standing, from the terrace of the tenth floor of the Gemelli, where he underwent colon surgery days ago.
It is the Angelus, which at the time of Wojtyla marked the moment of the fight against Evil also conducted against evil.
Reassuring exams, regular resumption, today he officially returns not to full activity, but to work. And he does so by releasing two messages very dear to him. One, just mentioned in the final considerations on the occasion of the Day of the Sea, is ecological. “Enough plastic in the sea” he exclaims, asking for respect for creation and the environment.
The second, which in recent days has touched him more closely, is the praise of the public national health system “as it is in Italy and in other countries”. The system, that is, which guarantees free treatment to all, in a spirit of service and not of profit.
The gestures are the usual ones, perhaps a little slower. The smile just tired, because only two days ago Francesco got out of bed and walked down the corridor.
Naturally today Bergoglio publicly manifested his “appreciation and encouragement to doctors and to all health care workers and hospital staff”. The staff of the Gemelli, in shirts, is present under the balcony.
Francis addresses them directly, after reflecting on illness and the need for tenderness, when one is sick.
“I thank you all: I have felt your closeness and the support of your prayers very much”, he begins, “thank you from my heart”. And remember how Christ sent the Apostles to anoint the sick. A gesture that “is certainly the sacrament of the Anointing of the sick, which gives comfort to the spirit and the body”. But the oil used with the sick “is also the listening, the closeness, the concern, the tenderness of those who take care of the sick person: it is like a caress that makes you feel better, soothes the pain and relieves everyone. sooner or later we need this anointing, and we can all give it to someone else, with a visit, a phone call, an outstretched hand to those who need help “.
“Money? No, service! “
But what is important to Francesco is to underline a fact, which starts from his constant reminder, which intensified during the days of the covid, of the duty to guarantee treatments and vaccines for all.
“In these days of hospitalization”, the Pontiff underlines, “I have experienced how important a good health service is, accessible to all, as there is in Italy and in other countries. A health system that ensures a good accessible service to all. We must not lose this precious asset. We must keep it! And for this we must all commit ourselves, because it is useful to all and asks for the contribution of all “.
A second reflection follows, even more clearly addressed to those who believe that health is a business, even within the Leonine Walls.
Even when the problem of a medical institution in financial difficulty arises in the Church, Francis continues, “the first thought is to sell. But the first vocation is not to make money, but to serve”. Cases of this kind have also occurred recently, in the vicinity of the Vatican.
And now the Pope who returns to work after the parenthesis of the operation suggests that perhaps the voice is a bit tired, but otherwise nothing changes.