Pope Francis, 84, pictured leaving hospital in Rome ten days after major colon ...

Pope Francis, 84, pictured leaving hospital in Rome ten days after major colon ...
Pope Francis, 84, pictured leaving hospital in Rome ten days after major colon ...

Pope Francis has left hospital ten days after undergoing planned surgery to remove half his colon. 

The pontiff, 84, sat in the passenger seat of a car which took him from Rome's Gemelli Polytechnic hospital to the Vatican on Wednesday morning.

He stepped out of the Ford with the help of a bodyguard and greeted his police escorts and Italian security guards before entering the Vatican through the Perugino gate. 

He made a stop to pray at Rome's Santa Maria Maggiore basilica, which has a beloved icon of the Virgin Mary which Francis always visits after returning home from a foreign trip. 

Francis had half of his colon removed after a severe narrowing of his large intestine on July 4, his first major surgery since he became pope in 2013. 

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Pope Francis has left hospital ten days after undergoing planned surgery to remove half his colon

The 84-year-old appeared in good spirits as he stepped out of the car and greeted his escorts and guards

The 84-year-old appeared in good spirits as he stepped out of the car and greeted his escorts and guards

He stepped out of the Ford with the help of a bodyguard during the journey from the hospital to the Vatican

He stepped out of the Ford with the help of a bodyguard during the journey from the hospital to the Vatican

He was earlier seen in the passenger seat of a car which took him from Rome's Gemelli Polytechnic hospital to the Vatican

He was earlier seen in the passenger seat of a car which took him from Rome's Gemelli Polytechnic hospital to the Vatican

Francis had half of his colon removed after a severe narrowing of his large intestine on July 4, his first major surgery since he became pope in 2013

Francis had half of his colon removed after a severe narrowing of his large intestine on July 4, his first major surgery since he became pope in 2013

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After leaving the hospital, the Pope sat and prayed in front of the icon of the Virgin Mary in the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

After leaving the hospital, the Pope sat and prayed in front of the icon of the Virgin Mary in the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

It was a planned procedure, scheduled for early July when the pope's audiences are suspended and Francis would normally take time off.

Francis will have several more weeks to recover before beginning to travel again in September. 

There are plans for him to visit Hungary and Slovakia in a September 12-15 trip, and then make a quick stop in Glasgow, Scotland, in November to participate in the COP26 climate conference. Other possible trips are also under review.

The Vatican spokesman, Matteo Bruni, confirmed Francis' return from the hospital and visit to the Rome basilica. 

Praying before the icon, Francis 'expressed his gratitude for the success of his surgery and offered a prayer for all the sick, especially those he had met during his stay in hospital,' Bruni said in the statement. 

The Vatican had originally said Francis could be discharged last weekend, but later said he would stay a few days extra for further recovery and

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