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Philippines prays as pope undergoes colon surgery

Francis recovering well following procedure to address a digestive disorder

Philippines prays as pope undergoes colon surgery

Pope Francis turns to leave after delivering the Sunday Angelus prayer from the window of his study overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on July 4. The pope later underwent colon surgery at a hospital in Rome. (Photo: AFP)

Catholic groups and clergymen in the Philippines have held online Masses and prayed the rosary for Pope Francis after he underwent colon surgery in a Rome hospital on July 4.

The 84-year-old pope had the operation due to a digestive disorder common in people of advanced age.

Pope Francis was admitted to hospital after delivering the Sunday Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican.

Prayers began pouring in from Catholic groups and clergymen in the Philippines immediately after the surgery announcement was made.

“Today, we remember in our Mass our Lolo Kiko [Grandfather Francis], who has a special place in the heart of every Filipino. Let us pray for him ... May God grant him strength of body so he can continue his Petrine ministry,” said Father Jerome Alcantara of San Jose Diocese in Nueva Ecija, north of Manila.

Father Alcantara urged churchgoers to remember the night Francis was elected pope in March 2013.

Let us all pray for the success of the surgery of the Holy Father, Pope Francis … and that his recovery will be speedy and complete

“He bowed and asked the people in St. Peter’s Square to pray for him first. Using that image, let us once again pray for the Holy Father that God may give him continued strength to shepherd the Church,” Alcantara added.

A group of seminarians in Manila prayed the rosary and offered a prayer for healing through the intercession of St. Luke, patron saint of physicians.

“Let us all pray for the success of the surgery of the Holy Father, Pope Francis … and that his recovery will be speedy and complete,” they said in a Facebook post.

Several parishioners likewise posted pictures of the pope taken during his visit to Manila in 2015.

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“Dear Lord, we pray for our sick and beloved Pope Francis under your care, we humbly ask that you restore your servant’s health so that he may recover as soon as possible,” said Mary Grace Deuda on Twitter.

Meanwhile, the Vatican has issued a medical bulletin about the result of the pope’s operation.

Vatican spokesperson Matteo Bruni said Pope Francis has “responded well” following the operation and would remain in hospital for a few days to recuperate.

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