For the first time in his pontificate, Pope Francis will not attend the Lenten retreat.

During the popular prayer of the Angelus in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis was seen with a strong flu, also said he would not participate in the Lenten retreat which generated concerns about their health, even some rumors came to say that the pontiff would have the Coronavirus.

The first scare about the 83-year-old Argentinian pontiff’s vitality was known this Sunday, when during his appearance in St. Peter’s Square he was seen with a constant cough and a strong cold that shows how weak his health is. For this reason he informed that he will not participate in the Lenten spiritual retreat that is being held south of Rome.

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Many of the faithful are distressed by the Pope’s condition, who was seen coughing repeatedly during a brief speech he gave in St. Peter’s Square this Sunday. He also had a voice that was quite affected by the flu and seemed to have a slightly constipated nose.
It is worth remembering that Pope Francis at the age of 20, when he was still in Buenos Aires, lost part of a lung as a result of a painful illness.

From his papal window Jorge Bergoglio as is the pope’s first name said the following:

“I ask you for a prayer for the spiritual exercises of the Roman Curia, which will begin this afternoon in Ariccia. Unfortunately the cold does not allow me to participate this year, I will follow the meditations from here. I unite myself spiritually to the Curia and to all the people who are living moments of prayer, doing the spiritual exercises at home”.

Since his election in 2013 the pontiff had never cancelled religious and papal events. He is known for his perseverance and passion with which he carries out every religious event where he always leaves a message of love and reconciliation and deals with important and controversial issues such as abortion or climate change.

Pope Francis was seen to be rather sluggish during the Ash Wednesday celebration.

However, last Thursday, February 26th, during the celebration of Ash Wednesday, he could be seen coughing and with flu symptoms, so he decided to cancel a Mass with other Vatican priests that would be celebrated the next day.

This situation led to media speculation that the Pope would be infected with the feared  virus.

In view of the increase in suspicions generated by this news and even managed to become viralized; The Vatican referred to it by emphasizing that the pope only suffers from a strong flu condition and totally discards the versions that claim a possible affectation of the coronavirus to the pontiff and that he is in very good health. And they says that advancing with positive improvement of the flu that afflicts him.

Francisco’s physical discomfort coincides with the outbreak of the coronavirus that is now affecting Italy, the most affected country in Europe.
This is because the reason for the concern of many people about the health of Pope Francis coincides with the public relations that the Holy Father has and which could end up affecting him.
Vatican sources have informed us that while Bergoglio’s recovery is taking place in his house in Santa Martha, Monsignor Fabian Pedacchio will provisionally assist him.

Hundreds of the faithful who come to Rome are protected by mask against the risk of contagion that exists in Italy.

The traditional spiritual retreat to which the Argentine pontiff will not attend will take place south of Rome in the small town of Ariccia which has about 18,000 inhabitants, a very touristy village thanks to the landscape that surrounds it full of beautiful natural landscapes, settled on hills which allows a disposition to meditation and tranquility.
This is why it has been visited by many spiritual retreats from the Vatican and this year the traditional Lenten retreat is planned to take place there, which will last 5 days, from March 1st to March 6th, at the Divine Master’s house of the Pallottine Fathers.


What really worries journalists like Marcelo Duclos of Panampost Digital is that in almost 5 days that the Pope has been in a bad state of health, the Vatican has not yet issued an official statement to the faithful and in general to all the public about what the real suffering of the Holy Father is or  the reason Because he has the flu, which, as demonstrated this Sunday, seems to be more serious than a passing cold.

Meanwhile, we will continue to wait for Francisco’s health to improve and we will be informed by the Vatican that due to his age and health history; He is a high-risk patient for the current emergency in Italy due to COVID-19 and its large number of infected people that continues to increase exponentially and has led to the quarantine of entire towns in the country.