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Pope Convalescing in Hospital After Intestinal Surgery

ROME — Pope Francis was spending his first morning convalescing on Monday in a Rome hospital following intestinal surgery under general anesthesia and reportedly doing well. 

The Vatican has given scant details about the operation Sunday evening in Gemelli Polyclinic, a major Catholic hospital in the Italian capital. 

An Italian cardinal told reporters he had been informed that the pope was doing well.

"Our prayer and our closeness are very great," Cardinal Enrico Feroci said at Rome's airport where he was catching a flight. The Italian news agency ANSA quoted him as saying that he had heard earlier in the morning from another cardinal, Angelo De Donatis, "and he told me that the pope is well." De Donatis is the vicar of the Rome diocese.

Francis is staying in special, 10th floor suite that the hospital keeps available for use by a pontiff, after Pope John Paul II stayed there several times for various medical problems. 

He is expected to stay hospitalized for several days. 

Twice daily updates on Pope Francis' condition are expected to be issued by the Vatican, with the first coming later Monday morning. 

The Vatican said late Sunday that Francis, 84, responded well to the surgery on the lower part of his colon. 

But it didn't say just what the surgery entailed or how long it lasted.

Francis had developed a diverticular stenosis, or narrowing, of the sigmoid portion of the large intestine. 

The Vatican has said the surgery was planned, although it only announced the hospitalization after Francis had checked into Gemelli. 

Doctors not connected to the pope's hospitalization have said it is common to perform a re-sectioning of the affected part of the bowel in such cases. 

Get-well messages continued to arrive for the pope. Italian Premier Mario Draghi's office said the leader "expresses affectionate wishes for a rapid convalescence and quick healing."

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