Pope Francis spoke on Sunday about some of the health problems that have been slowing him down in recent months.
“My health is a bit fickle, I have this knee problem that brings out problems with walking,” he told journalists on April 3.
Speaking aboard the papal plane, the 85-year-old pope said that his problems walking have shown some improvement.
“It is a bit annoying, but it is getting better, at least I can walk, until a week ago I couldn’t do it,” he commented.
“It’s a slow thing this winter… at this age you don’t know how the match will end. Let’s hope it goes well,” he said.
The pope spoke in response to a question during an in-flight press conference on his return flight from Malta about how he was feeling following his April 2-3 trip.
Throughout the pope’s visit to Malta, extra measures were taken to ensure that the pope would not have to take stairs.
At the welcome ceremony, he descended a lift rather than the stairs of the papal plane.
A special lift was also installed at the Basilica of St. Paul in Rabat to enable Pope Francis to visit and pray in the crypt grotto, a cherished Catholic pilgrimage spot on the Mediterranean island country.
The trip to Malta was Pope Francis’ first papal trip of 2022.
A February trip to Florence was canceled on account of his knee problems.
In July 2021, Pope Francis spent 11 days in a Rome hospital recuperating from colon surgery.
The pope said that he was pleased with his trip to Malta, although it was a bit short. He added that he was amazed by the enthusiasm that he encountered in Malta, a country where more 85% of the population is Catholic.
He said: “I was happy with the visit. I saw the realities of Malta, a great enthusiasm of the people both in Gozo and Malta. A great enthusiasm in the streets. I was amazed.”