MANILA - The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has called on the Filipino people to pray for Pope Francis who is still recuperating in a hospital in Rome following colon surgery.
In a message released on Monday, CBCP president and Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles urged the people to offer prayers for the complete recovery of the pontiff.
"We remember his beautiful and very inspiring Apostolic Visit to our county in 2015. We continue to feel his love for the Filipino people. In this particular time, let us show our love and affection for him," Valles said.
"Let us pray together - clergy, religious and consecrated persons, our covenanted communities, our lay faithful, - for the complete recovery of Pope Francis."
In its latest bulletin, the Vatican said the 84-year-old pope remains in good condition after his scheduled operation for colon diverticulitis at the Gemelli Hospital last Sunday.
The surgery lasted for about 3 hours which also involved a left hemicolectomy.
The Vatican added that Francis will remain in hospital for 7 days barring complications.
Francis underwent surgery for symptomatic diverticular stenosis of the colon, a condition where sac-like pouches protrude from the muscular layer of the colon, leading it to become narrow. The operation was carried out by a 10-person medical team.
In addition to causing pain, the condition can lead to bloating, inflammation, and difficulty in bowel movement. It tends to affect older people more.
Since his election in 2013, Pope Francis has followed a rigorous schedule, including trips to abroad and various activities in the Vatican.
Unlike his predecessors, the pope does not take take a vacation in the traditional papal summer house at Castel Gandolfo in the Alban Hills south of Rome.
In some of his speeches and liturgies, the former Cardinal Jose Mario Bergoglio could be seen catching his breath as part of his lungs was removed during his teenager years as a result of an infection.
The pope is also suffering from sciatica.
Last year, the pontiff did not attend the usual week-long Lenten retreat together with other members of the Roman Curia due to a bad cold.
In 2014, a year after he was elected pope, Francis was forced to cancel several engagements because of what was believed to be a stomach ailment. - With a report from Reuters