Pope makes surprise visit to Rome hospitals

ROME - Pope Francis made surprise visits to two Rome hospitals on Friday, the Vatican said, continuing his monthly series of unannounced trips.


"Days after canonising Mother Teresa a ""who gave great service in favour of life," the Argentinian pontiff wanted to visit "two very symbolic buildings." the Vatican statement said.

The first was to the neonatal ward of San Giovanni Hospital in Rome.

"The Pope, who was greeted with astonishment by the staff, put on a face mask and underwent all the necessary hygiene precautions for the aseptic environment," the statement said.

Pope Francis then visit the "Villa Speranza" hospice which cares for 30 terminal patients.

The Pope has introduced his unannounced visits as part of his "Jubilee of Mercy" year.