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Pope Francis returns to Vatican after operation

Pope Francis leaves the Rome hospital where he had undergone an operation on his colon on July 4.

The 84-year old was whisked away from the Gemelli University Hospital in a car with tinted windows and was later spotted returning to his home within the Vatican’s walls.

He stopped off on the way at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore for a quick prayer to “express his gratitude for the success of his surgery,” Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni says.

The pope also prayed at the central Rome church for “all the sick, especially all those he had met during his stay in hospital,” Bruni adds,.

Francis had been admitted to hospital after suffering from a type of diverticulitis, an inflammation of pockets that develop in the lining of the intestine.

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