(AP) — Pope Francis
will follow in the footsteps of St. John Paul II and deliver his weekly Sunday blessing and greeting from a hospital
in Rome where he is recovering from intestinal surgery
, the Vatican
According to the Vatican's daily medical update, Francis' temperature has returned to normal after a brief fever on Wednesday evening, and his treatment and recovery at Gemelli Polyclinic are proceeding normally, with the pontiff
walking, eating, working, and celebrating Mass with hospital staff.
Francis, 84, had half of his colon removed on July 4
for a “severe” narrowing of his large intestine, according to the Vatican, and is expected to stay at Gemelli for the rest of the week, assuming no complications.
According to the statement, Francis will deliver his noontime Sunday blessing from the hospital's 10th floor, echoing John Paul's practice of delivering the Angelus prayer and greetings from the hospital's 10th floor during his occasional stays.
During one of his visits in 1996, John Paul joked that Gemelli had become the “Vatican No. 3,” after St. Peter’s and the papal summer estate in Castel Gandolfo.
The Vatican said Francis was continuing to eat and walk in the corridor after the three-hour surgery on Sunday, and that he had resumed work, "alternating it with moments of reading texts."
On Thursday afternoon, he said Mass in the papal private apartment, “attended by all those assisting him during his hospitalization,” according to the Vatican.
pope has had relatively good health
, despite the fact that he lost the upper part of one lung as a child
due to an infection, and he suffers from sciatica, or nerve pain, which causes him to walk with a noticeable limp.
After being shot during an assassination
attempt in St. Peter's Square on May 13, 1981, John Paul spent his first stay at Gemelli. Four days later, he delivered his Sunday prayer from the hospital, saying, "Pray for the brother who shot me, whom I sincerely forgive."
John Paul was released
in June of that year, but he returned a few weeks later after contracting a serious infection that kept him in the hospital for nearly two months.
In subsequent years, he returned for broken bones from falls, an appendectomy, respiratory and throat problems, and the removal of a benign intestinal tumor. The Polish pope, who suffered from Parkinson's disease, died on April
2, 2005, at the Vatican.