The papal nuncio to the Philippines asked Filipinos to join in praying for the health of Pope Francis.
“Let us pray for Pope Francis, especially during this time,” Archbishop Charles Brown said over Catholic-run Radio Veritas 846 on Wednesday, June 15.
“Because of his knee causing a lot of pain and difficulty, he postponed his activities,” said the Vatican ambassador to the country.
The pope, who had been using a wheelchair since early May, canceled several engagements since having a minor operation to treat knee pain.
He was planning to visit the Congolese cities of Kinshasa and Gome on July 2-5, and the South Sudanese capital of Juba on July 5-7.
The Vatican, however, announced on June 10 that the trip had to be put off due to treatment for his knee pain.
Pope Francis also has a six-day trip to Canada from July 24, and another to Kazakhstan in September.
In his Wednesday address, the pope said the elderly must accept their physical limitations, noting that he now has to walk with a cane.
He said old age is invariably marked by fragility.
“When you are old, you are no longer in control of your body. One has to learn to choose what to do and what not to do,” he said.
“The vigor of the body fails and abandons us, even though our heart does not stop yearning. One must then learn to purify desire: be patient, choose what to ask of the body and of life.”
He added: “When we are old, we cannot do the same things we did when we were young: the body has another pace, and we must listen to the body and accept its limits. We all have them. I too have to use a walking stick now.”
Pilgrims responded with applause to his reference to his recent health struggles.
The 85-year-old pope has walked short distances at recent general audiences with the help of a cane. Due to ongoing knee pain, he has appeared in a wheelchair at other public events since May 5. – with reports from CBCP News and CNA