Pope Francis was born on December 17, 1936. He is 77 years old. He has one lung. He just got back from a grueling trip to the Middle East. He has kept a non-stop schedule since his election.
Now, he has cancelled many of his public activities for July.
Speculation about the Holy Father’s abrupt cancellation of plans is rolling around the internet. Grave rumors are rolling right along with it.
The Holy Father may be sick. I don’t know. What I do know is that the pace he has been keeping is enough to tire anyone, at any age, much less a guy approaching 80 who is getting by on one lung.
I also know that previous popes have left the Vatican altogether at this time of year and spent a few weeks’ vacation time at Castel Gandalfo. Pope Francis’ mini vacation of just canceling public appointments for a month while continuing to live in residence and work from his office is actually an uptick in activity from his predecessor.
I hope and pray that all he needs is a month of relative rest and quiet. I think that is entirely possible. In fact, I don’t see how he’s managed to do all that he’s done. My only answer is that the Holy Spirit is sustaining him.
I know that many people are going to get with the speculation program and that the rumor mill will run like a hamster in its cage. But as for me, I am going to continue praying for our Pope and wait and see.
Hopefully, what we’ll all see will be a refreshed and invigorated Papa, back from a few weeks’ rest.