Pope Francis made a surprise visit on 25 October to French Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, retired president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, who was hospitalised at Rome’s Gemelli hospital after falling in St Peter’s Basilica.
The 93-year-old cardinal lost his balance as he was greeting the pope after the closing Mass of the Synod of Bishops and suffered a fracture of his left femur.
Although he was in stable condition, Cardinal Etchegaray needed surgery to repair the fracture, the Vatican press office said.
The pope spent 15 minutes at the hospital, during which the French cardinal “thanked the Holy Father particularly for the recently concluded synod”, said a statement from Jesuit Fr Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman.
It was the second injury in St Peter’s Basilica for the cardinal, who suffered a broken leg and hip after a mentally ill woman knocked him and Pope Benedict XVI to the ground at midnight Mass in 2009.