Pope Francis during a general audience at St. Peter's square on June 25, 2014, at the Vatican. (Filippo Monteforte / Getty Images)
Vatican City — Pope Francis canceled a planned visit to one of Rome’s main hospitals Friday, the third time this month the 77-year-old has skipped or scaled back an event due to illness or fatigue.
Francis had been due to visit the Gemelli hospital and celebrate a Mass there Friday afternoon. But nearly an hour after he was due to arrive, the Vatican issued a statement saying he was canceling the trip due to an “unexpected indisposition.”
The Argentine-born pontiff has only one full lung and suffers from a bad back that can make walking painful. Earlier this month, he skipped two days of audiences due to a stomach bug, then decided not to walk a mile-long procession last week to rest up for a grueling trip to southern Italy.
He held up remarkably well during the hot, 12-hour trip to Calabria, even getting out of his car along the road at one point to bless a sick young man who was wheeled up to his motorcade on a stretcher.
He has another busy weekend ahead of him, including audiences on Saturday and a major Mass on Sunday in St. Peter’s Square.
The Vatican has insisted the pope isn’t suffering from any major health issues, pointing to his busy schedule and plans for a whirlwind trip to South Korea in August.