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Pope Francis meets Martin Scorsese after recovering from fever

<i>Vatican Media/Reuters</i><br/>The Pope was briefly hospitalized in March.
Vatican Media/Reuters
The Pope was briefly hospitalized in March.

By Delia Gallagher, Xiaofei Xu, Rob Picheta and Sophie Tanno, CNN

Rome (CNN) — Pope Francis Saturday addressed a conference attended by prominent artists and directors including Martin Scorsese, a day after he canceled his regular work schedule due to a fever.

Returning to his duties on Saturday, Francis made a speech at the event at the Vatican, which was called “The Global Esthetics of the Catholic Imagination,” the Vatican News reported.

Speaking of his love of literature, he said, according to the title: “The words of those authors helped me to understand myself, the world and my people, but also to understand more profoundly the human heart, my personal life of faith, and my pastoral work, even now in my present ministry.”

He added that he has “loved many poets in his life” and taught himself literature when he was young.

Award-winning film director Martin Scorsese and his family were among the audience of international writers, poets and other artists at the conference.

Scorsese met Pope Francis in 2016, when the two held a private audience to discuss his film “Silence,” about Christians persecuted in 17th century Japan

Francis was earlier this week struck down by a fever which forced him to cancel his work commitments on Friday and sparked renewed concerns for his health.

However, the daily appointment schedule sent by the Vatican Saturday showed that Francis was resuming his work. The Vatican did not issue any new update on the 86-year-old pontiff’s health.

Francis is expected to celebrate mass for Pentecost in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday.

On Thursday, the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said Francis was “tired” after a “very intense day,” according to Italian news agency ANSA.

“The Pope was tired. Yesterday he had a very intense day and saw many people. There was the meeting with Scholas Occurrentes and he wanted to greet each person individually. At a certain point, one becomes less resistant,” Parolin said.

Francis was seen looking well Thursday afternoon at a live-streamed event from the Vatican for Scholas Occurrentes, an international education network that he founded, according to CNN’s team on the ground.

He was hospitalized in March for bronchitis but responded well to antibiotics.

Leaving hospital on that occasion, the Pope joked that he’s “still alive.”

The pontiff – who as a young man suffered from severe pneumonia and had part of a lung removed – has had a recent history of medical issues.

He has often been seen with a walking stick and sometimes uses a wheelchair due to pain in his right knee.

Last year, he canceled a trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan after doctors said he might also have to miss a later trip to Canada unless he agreed to have 20 more days of therapy and rest for his knee. He ultimately went to the DRC and South Sudan in February.

Francis also suffers from diverticular disease, a common condition that can cause the inflammation or infection of the colon. In 2021, he had surgery to remove part of his colon.

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