'We must accept fragility', Francis says in message to Gemelli Hospital staff

Pope Francis has said that he was forced to cancelled a visit to Gemelli Hospital at the last minute because of a headache and nausea.

“I hoped it would pass,” he said in a video message released by the Vatican. “I really wanted my meeting with you, but as you well know, we are not the masters of our lives and cannot do everything we want.”

“We must accept fragility,” the 77-year-old Pope said.

Pope Francis explained that a headache he had had since morning suddenly worsened and he suffered from nausea, forcing him to cancel the visit.

Pope Francis said he appreciated all of the effort that people had put into planning for his visit on June 27 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the hospital and the connected faculty of medicine and surgery of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart.

Fragility, he said, is something the patients know well.

“Cultivate in your prayer a taste for the things of God,” he told them. “Be witnesses that our strength is in God alone.”

Those who experience fragility, he said, are the best people to show others that the most precious things in life are “the Gospel and the merciful love of the Father, not money or power. In fact, even someone the world considers important cannot add a single day to his own life”.

It was the fifth time since December that Pope Francis had canceled previously scheduled public meetings because he was not feeling well.