World · August 5, 2022

Pope Francis names the nurse who saved his life as a personal helper

On Thursday Pope Francis appointed a Vatican nurse who claimed to have “saved my life” to become his personal health assistant, a new role for his papacy.

The appointment comes because the 85-year-old pope is suffering from knee pain that forced him to cancel numerous events, and after admitting last week after a trip to Canada that he had to slow down or even start thinking about retiring.

“The Holy Father has appointed Massimiliano Strappetti, nurse coordinator of the Directorate of Health and Hygiene, as his personal health assistant,” the Vatican said in a brief statement.

Strappetti has been widely identified as the Vatican hospital nurse greeted by the pope in an interview last year for persuading him to undergo surgery for an inflammation of the bowel.

“He saved my life!” the pope told Cope on Spanish radio after the July 4 surgery, adding that the nurse had been there for three decades and was a “man with a lot of experience.”