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Pope Francis thanks supporters in first message since colon surgery

A view on Tuesday of the hospital where Pope Francis underwent a scheduled surgery for a symptomatic diverticular stenosis of the colon, in Rome, Italy. Photo by Angelo Carconi/EPA-EFE
A view on Tuesday of the hospital where Pope Francis underwent a scheduled surgery for a symptomatic diverticular stenosis of the colon, in Rome, Italy. Photo by Angelo Carconi/EPA-EFE

July 7 (UPI) -- For the first time since he underwent intestinal surgery in Rome last weekend, Pope Francis made public remarks about his condition on Wednesday and thanked faithful for their support.

The 84-year-old pope had an operation on his colon Sunday at the Gemelli Policlinic hospital in Rome after delivering the Angelus prayer at the Vatican.

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The surgery had been planned and Matteo Bruni, director of the Vatican Press Office, said a "histological examination" showed that a "severe diverticular stenosis with signs of sclerosing diverticulitis" required the procedure.

Tuesday, Francis' condition improved and the Vatican said he was up and walking.

"I am touched by the many caring messages received in these days," Pope Francis wrote in a tweet Wednesday, his first remarks since undergoing the surgery.

"I thank everyone for their closeness and prayer."

"The postoperative progress of His Holiness Pope Francis continues to be regular and satisfactory," Bruni added in a statement.

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"The Holy Father has continued to eat regularly, and infusion therapy has been suspended.

"Pope Francis is touched by the many messages and the affection received in these days and expresses his gratitude for the closeness and prayer."

The Vatican has said Francis will remain in the hospital for a few days.

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