Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew sent a warm letter of sympathy and support to Pope Francis, who underwent an operation at Rome’s Gemelli Hospital on Wednesday.
The Ecumenical Patriarch wished the Pope a speedy and complete recovery of his health and a quick return to his sacred and multifaceted duties, in view of the Thronal feast of the Church of Rome, to which the Patriarch will send, as every year, his official Delegation, consisting this year of Metropolitans Job of Pisidia, Bishop Athenagoras of Nazianzus and Tritevon Kallinikos.
It is noted that Pope Francis, before his admission to the hospital, sent to the Ecumenical Patriarch for his forthcoming name day a cordial greeting letter:
“The liturgical celebration of your patron saint, the Apostle Bartholomew, gives me the opportunity to send the warmest wishes to your All-Holiness and assure you of my prayers to Almighty God, as He, the source of all good, provides you with health, happiness and apostolic zeal in your ministry. Jesus by offering His blood, Saint Bartholomew gave the supreme testimony for his faith. Indeed, at the moment when the witnesses seem to be deprived of help and to be defeated, then they emerge as conquerors in God’s eyes, because their victory is based on full trust in the Lord. Through this exemplary discipleship, we see the way, which all Christians are called to follow this example today: not to be seeking temporal success, but to be showing absolute faithfulness to the Gospel and greater confidence, like children, in our heavenly Father. I am sure that, walking this path together, Catholics and Orthodox will gain a deeper experience of the bonds that already unite them in faith, in hope and in charity, so that they may receive encouragement to persevere in the path that leads to full and visible unity. Having such sentiments, I am sending you, my beloved brother in Christ, a greeting of peace in the name of the Lord.