Pope Francis speaks to the media as he leaves Gemelli Hospital on April 1, 2023 in Rome.

Filippo Monteforte | Afp | Getty Images

Pope Francis was discharged on Saturday from hospital in Rome where he was being treated for bronchitis and told reporters before being driven away: “I’m still alive.”

Francis, 86, was hospitalized on Wednesday at the Gemelli Polyclinic after experiencing breathing difficulties following his weekly public audience. The pope was treated with antibiotics administered intravenously, the Vatican said.

The Vatican said that before leaving, Francis hugged a couple whose daughter died Friday night in the hospital.

Francis was in the front seat of the white Fiat 500 car that drove him away from the Gemelli Polyclinic.

On the eve of his discharge, Vatican officials said Francis would be in St. Peter’s Square for the Palm Sunday Mass to mark the start of Holy Week, which culminates at Easter on April 9.