Ill pope calls off official audiences for a 3rd day
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis, 83, canceled official engagements for the third day in a row Saturday as he battled an apparent cold.
The pope, who lost part of a lung to a respiratory illness as a young man, has never canceled so many official audiences or events in his seven-year papacy.
Francis is, however, continuing to work from his residence at the Vatican’s Santa Marta hotel and is receiving people in private, the Vatican press office said.
On Sunday, Francis is expected to leave the Vatican with top Holy See bureaucrats for a week of spiritual exercises in the Roman countryside, an annual retreat that the pope attends at the start of each Lent.
Francis last appeared in public Wednesday, when he was seen coughing and blowing his nose during an Ash Wednesday Mass.