Pope Jokes With Journalists on the Plane to Lisbon: ‘I Will Return Rejuvenated’

Tags: Currents Pope Francis, World Youth Day, World Youth Day 2023

Pope Francis landed in Lisbon, Portugal, to kick off World Youth Day. It’s his first trip since the abdominal hernia operation he had in June.

At the foot of the stairs of the pope’s airplane, the Portuguese president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, was waiting for him. But he waited in vain because the pope did not use the stairs, as he usually does since he has knee problems. 

He used the freight elevator on the other side of the plane.

Then the pontiff and the president greeted each other with great affection. Pope Francis used the wheelchair at all times. 

During the flight he joked with the press, saying that he hopes to get younger with this trip.

Some journalists presented him with gifts. 

Eva Fernandez, from COPE, gave him a very special one: the letter from Pablo de la Cruz, the young man with Ewing’s sarcoma who took his vows as a barefoot Carmelite shortly before his death on July 15.