On Wednesday, His Holiness Pope Francis was admitted to the hospital after having difficulty breathing in recent days. According to Vatican officials, he will receive treatment for a lung infection and remain hospitalized for several days.

A spokesman for the 86-year-old pope, Matteo Bruni, confirmed in a statement late Wednesday that Pope Francis does not have COVID-19.

Last July, Pope Francis was hospitalized at Gemelli Hospital for 10 days to have 33 centimeters (13 inches) of his colon removed. His admission marked the first hospitalization since then.

This occurrence caused people to question Francis’ overall wellness and whether he’ll have the energy to partake in the important Holy Week festivities, beginning this weekend with Palm Sunday.

Recent days brought respiration difficulties for Francis, leading him to Gemelli Hospital for examination.

“The tests showed a respiratory infection (COVID-19 infection excluded) that will require some days of medical therapy,” Bruni’s statement read.

During Wednesday’s usual general audience, Francis appeared to be in decent shape; however, he winced intensely when moving onto and off the “popemobile.”

When Francis was a young man, he faced the trauma of having part of one lung taken away due to his respiratory infection. This experience left him with an unmistakable soft-spoken ness that still echoes in his voice today.

Miraculously, he managed to make it through the toughest times of COVID-19 without any reported cases of him testing positive.

This upcoming weekend, Francis was meant to observe Palm Sunday and begin the Holy Week at Vatican City: commencing with Holy Thursday, followed by Good Friday, Easter Vigil, and finally Easter Sunday on April 9.

All audiences were terminated through Friday, yet it was still ambiguous if the Holy Week plans would remain intact.

For over twelve months, Francis has relied on a wheelchair to get around due to strained ligaments and a small fracture in his right knee. Fortunately, he’s noticed the injury is slowly healing – so much so that later, he’s been able to walk with just the aid of a cane.

Francis has mentioned that he shied away from getting knee surgery due to the fact that anesthesia didn’t play nicely with him during his 2021 intestinal procedure.

Soon after his surgery, he declared that he had made a full recovery and could now eat like nothing ever happened.

In a recent interview with the Associated Press on Jan. 24, Francis announced that he was again facing issues of diverticulosis – small protrusions in his intestinal walls.